Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm believes her injury-hit nemesis Missy Franklin has no excuses after finally beating her rival at the Pan Pacs.
Nothing was going to rain on Emily Seebohm’s parade despite showers and a lingering injury to nemesis Missy Franklin preceding her breakthrough Pan Pacific championships win at the Gold Coast outdoor pool on Thursday night.
Seebohm, 22, finally exacted revenge on American teenager Franklin, who denied her London Olympic gold and a 2013 world title, by clocking 58.84 seconds to claim 100m backstroke gold for Australia on the four-day meet’s opening night.
And teammate Thomas Fraser-Holmes also notched a career breakthrough by clocking one minute, 45:98 seconds to claim 200m freestyle gold.
Seebohm was famously reduced to tears in London after blaming a social media fixation for being relegated to Olympic 100m backstroke silver behind Franklin days after clocking a Games record in the heats.
Franklin, 19, appeared vulnerable when she was a last-minute entry to the Pan Pacs after suffering severe back spasms at training.
And the miserable conditions for the 100m Pan Pacs final appeared to play into the hands of Seebohm who regularly trained at an outdoor pool in Queensland.
But Seebohm did not believe Franklin had any excuses after finally beating the superstar on Thursday night.
“A win is a win,” she said.
“Sometimes you don’t feel fantastic and you have to go out and do your best.
“She is obviously a strong competitor and, sometimes, you just have to go out and race your competition.
“I haven’t done it (beaten Franklin) before.
“It gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
After succumbing to pressure in London, Seebohm loved the fact she was able to lift in front of home fans and topple six-time world titles gold medallist Franklin.
“In (fastest qualifier’s) lane four, I had a lot of pressure on me and I was able to do that in front of a home crowd,” she beamed.
Fellow Aussie Belinda Hocking (59.78) claimed 100m backstroke silver ahead of Franklin (1:00.30).
Fraser-Holmes, 22, backed up his Commonwealth Games gold medal heroics by announcing himself as a world force by claiming 200m Pan Pacs gold.
Arriving at the meet as the world No.1-ranked 200m swimmer, after his Glasgow effort, Fraser-Holmes backed up to clock a classy 1:45.98 to hold out Japan’s Kosuke Hagino (1:46.08).
Australia’s Cameron McEvoy (1:46.36) took bronze.
“A lot of people were saying Commonwealth Games was a big step for me but this was the big test,” Fraser-Holmes said.
In the women’s 200m freestyle, Olympic bronze medallist Bronte Barratt (1:57.22) claimed silver for Australia behind American record holder Katie Ledecky (1:55.74, meet record).
Australia’s Melanie Schlanger (1:57.38) finished fourth but still sent a strong message to national coach Jacco Verhaeren for a 4x200m relay spot on Friday after her controversial Glasgow Games snub.
In the men’s 1500m freestyle, Australian prodigy Mack Horton, 18, claimed bronze (14:52.78) behind surprise American winner Connor Jaeger (14:51.79).
Australia’s Mitch Larkin was fourth (53.28) in the men’s 100m backstroke final behind Japanese winner Ryosuke Irie (53.02).
In the women’s 200m butterfly, Australia’s Madeline Groves (2:10.15) was seventh behind American Cammile Adams (2:06.61).
In the women’s 800m freestyle, Ledecky clocked gold and a meet record 8:11.35, just shy of her world mark, with Australia’s Jessica Ashwood 10th (8:34.62).
And Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:55.29) won the men’s 200m butterfly.
At the end of day one, the United States (four gold, one silver, five bronze) led Australia (two gold, two silver, two bronze) and Japan (two gold, two silver).