Pine back in form
By STEVE SPINKS
FORMER Lismore and Ballina butterflyer Adam Pine showed he should be in peak form for the Commonwealth Games swimming trials early next year with a strong performance at the Swimming Australia Skins meet in Sydney on Thursday night. Pine, who represented Australia at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, surprisingly missed out on a place for the world championships this year. He performed strongly at the Skins, although beaten by South African Ryk Neethling in the 50m butterfly. Neethling, who was part of the South African 4 x 100m freestyle relay gold medal-winning team in Athens, is a former 1500m specialist who switched to sprinting after the Sydney Olympics. But his background in distance swimming helped him overcome Pine at the Skins. Under the Skins format, each stroke is contested over three 50m races, with less than two minutes rest in between. A swimmer is dropped after each race. Neethling also won the 50m freestyle and finished up with $10,000 from the night. Pine will contest the two-day World Cup event at the International Aquatic Centre in Sydney starting today.