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Binedell goes fastest in backstroke heats

09 April 2018 - 06:42 By David Isaacson
Martin Binedell competes in the swimming men's 200m backstroke qualification round during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Optus Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast on April 9, 2018.
Martin Binedell competes in the swimming men's 200m backstroke qualification round during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Optus Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast on April 9, 2018.
Image: ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP

Martin Binedell sneaked the favourite’s tag in the Commonwealth Games 200m backstroke on Monday when he clocked the fastest time of the morning heats.

The B Com marketing student won his heat in a 1min 57.92sec personal best‚ which earned him the fourth lane for Monday’s final by 0.07sec.

But lurking just behind him is Australia’s Mitch Larkin‚ the silver medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics who took gold at the 2015 world championships and the last Games at Glasgow 2014.

Larkin has pushed out times quicker than 1:54‚ while 22-year-old Binedell‚ a late bloomer by his own admission‚ broke two minutes for the first time a year ago.

Brad Tandy went 21.78 in the 50m freestyle heats‚ the second best after Englishman Ben Proud‚ who clocked a 21.45 Games record.

Proud is looking to make up for the likely gold medal he threw away when he was disqualified for a false start in the 50m butterfly.

At the athletics stadium‚ Antonio Alkana comfortably qualified for the 110m hurdles final after finishing second in his heat in 13.32‚ the third fastest of the morning heats. But world under-18 high jump champion Breyton Poole crashed out in the qualifying round‚ clearing only 2.18m.

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