D'Arcy out to break records
CONTROVERSIAL butterflyer Nick D'Arcy wants to redeem himself from last year's infamous Olympic ban by breaking records at the world championship trials in Sydney next month.
The Queenslander continued his comeback from a forgettable 2008 with a slick 200m butterfly win at the NSW championships at Sydney Olympic Park last night.
D'Arcy clocked a winning time of 1 min 56.47 sec, almost one second faster than his time at the same meet last year and just 1 min 37 sec behind his personal best effort swum at the Olympic trials.
The 21-year-old was banned from the 2008 Beijing Olympic team after assaulting former swimmer Simon Cowley in a nightclub following the trials last March.
D'Arcy has pleaded guilty to assault charges and faces sentencing next week, which could end his swimming dream yet again.
But he is only focused on being ready for the world championship trials starting March 19 and making the team bound for Rome.
“I would be honoured and kind of feel vindicated being back on the team and showing people that is what I am, I am a swimmer and at the end of the day all that infamy that surrounds me it's not who I am and it's not what I am about,” he said.
D'Arcy believes with a taper he could lower last night's time by up to two seconds, putting him within reach of Moss Burmester's Commonwealth record of 1:54.35.
“This is the fastest time I've ever been untapered ... everything is on track for the world championship trials,” he said.
“I am looking forward to being able to compete again with a full taper and hopefully setting another Commonwealth record.”
Olympic gold medallist Libby Trickett unveiled a new straight-arm freestyle stroke in winning the 100m freestyle in 53.81 sec.
After going close to Olympic gold in the freestyle at last year's Olympics, Trickett said she had changed her stroke to set herself a new challenge in the sport.
“At this point in my career I have achieved everything I could have hoped for in swimming and I have nothing really left to prove,” said Trickett. “There's a few things I hoped would go a different way at the Olympics but at the same time I am still an Olympic gold medallist.
“I have stayed in the sport because I think I have more improvement ... to get that change I have to try different things to find those tenths of a second.”
Triple Olympic champion Stephanie Rice blew away her post Beijing cobwebs with an eye-catching win in the 400m individual medley with a time of 4:40.29, although it was over 10 seconds off her own world record.
“I was actually pretty shocked when I saw that time,” said Rice.
In the men's 100m freestyle, Andrew Lauterstein (48.99 sec) upstaged world record holder Eamon Sullivan (49.63 sec) with a come-from-behind win.