Teen Sienna Toohey breaks Leisel Jones’ 24-year mark in stunning swim at Olympic trials

Rising teenager Sienna Toohey erased one of Australian swimming’s most celebrated names from the record books at the Australian Olympic trials in Brisbane.

Leisel Jones, a four-time Olympian and one of the sport’s best breaststrokers ever, rose to prominence at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

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Only 15 years old at the time, Jones won an unexpected silver medal at that Games in the 100 meter breaststroke in a time of 1:07.49, breaking the Australian national age record in the process.

It took 24 long years, but that mark was finally broken and in emphatic style by the sensation Albury Toohey.

In his first Olympic trials final, Toohey stunned everyone by leading after the first lap from lane two, covering the first 50 meters in 31.01.

As you can see in the video player above, she tired a bit on the back stretch and would ultimately finish third behind 27-year-old Jenna Strauch and 19-year-old Ella Ramsay.

But his time of 1:07.01 was 0.48 off Jones’ time and established Toohey as a star of the future.

It was also a full 0.71 below her previous personal best set at the age-group championships in April, but Toohey admitted later that Jones’ score was her main target.

“That was my goal for this race,” he told reporters. “I didn’t care what I came with, I just knew I wanted to break it.”

In another demonstration of Toohey’s stellar performance, then 16-year-old American Megan Quann won gold ahead of Jones in 2000 in a time of 1:07.05, which still remains the United States’ national 15-16 age record United.

Toohey’s effort Tuesday night also fell short of that mark.

Although Toohey was not born for much of Jones’ career, she witnessed some of the three-time Olympic gold medalist’s pool performances.

Her first Olympic experience will likely have to wait until the 2028 Games in Los Angeles, but Toohey was delighted with her efforts in Brisbane.

“I didn’t know what I felt, I just lost what I felt when I was swimming,” he said.

“I knew I was going fast but I didn’t know I was going that fast.

“I was so excited, honestly it’s so surreal and I’m speechless.”

Toohey swims out of Albury Swim Club and also has an association with the Gould Swim Academy in North Albury.

The Gould Academy posted a video of his swim Tuesday night on Facebook and there was an outpouring of support for the star in the making.

“Amazing swim!!!! I thought she would go through with it!! Really fantastic – well done Sienna and you super coaches!” it was a comment.

Another wrote: “Wow what a swim in the final, you showed everyone in Australia how brave and courageous you are by being the youngest swimmer in the field by going out and putting them all on their guard… you should be so happy and proud of what you have achieved in this season and the exciting part is that this is just the beginning.”

A third wrote: “Absolutely mind-blowing and impressive.”

Ariarne Titmus, Kaylee McKeown, Kyle Chalmers and the rest of Australia’s superstar swimmers are competing in the trials, which run until Saturday at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

Read related topics:Brisbane

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