The West

Blair Evans
Blair Evans

Perth swimming starlet Blair Evans will aim to build on her stunning rise up the national rankings when she makes her first appearance at the Australian short course championships in Brisbane today.

The 19-year-old will compete in four events, starting with the 100m and her favoured 800m freestyle.

She will also race in the 200m freestyle on Sunday with heightened expectations after her shock victory at the Commonwealth Games selection trials in March where she slashed more than a second off her personal best to outgun more recognised names Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt and Kylie Palmer.

Queensland's Katie Goldman looms as the major threat in the 800m, having relegated Evans to runner-up at the selection trials.

Dual Olympian Travis Nederpelt became the first WA swimmer to claim a medal at the championships, winning yesterday's 800m men's freestyle final in 7min. 51.89sec., almost 2sec. ahead of NSW's Wally Eggleton.

The result came in a less familiar event for the 25-year-old butterfly specialist, who has returned from 12 months away from the sport, designed to freshen him up for a tilt at a third straight Olympics appearance.

·Triple Olympic gold medallist Leisel Jones was a surprise disqualification in the women's 50m breaststroke after she overbalanced and fell into the pool before the starter's signal.

The West Australian

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