Pining for Beijing
By STEVE SPINKS
FORMER Ballina Indoor butterfly swimming Adam Pine has clocked his third personal best time in two days to force his way into the Australian team for the Beijing Olympics.
With parents Robert and Sharee in the crowd, Pine swam his third personal best of 52.13s over the 100m butterfly in the Olympic trials at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre last night.
In doing so he qualified as the second Australian in the event behind Queenslander Andrew Lauterstein, who clocked 51.91s to take the win.
Lauterstein's time was only 0.10s outside Michael Klim's Australian record but well short of American Ian Crocker's world record of 50.40s from 2005.
It was a remarkable achievement for Pine, who first made an Australian swim team for the Pan Pacific Games in 1993.
It will be his third Olympics following swims in Sydney and Athens.
Born in Lismore, Pine learnt to swim at the indoor centre in Goonellabah but his swimming career took off under the watchful eye of Stan Tilley at Ballina Indoor.
The 32-year-old has contested four Commonwealth Games and five world championships during his long career as well as swimming on the competitive US college circuit.
While Pine was celebrating, former clubmate at Ballina Jono Newton - who now swims for Sydney University - found out what a heartbreaking sport swimming can be.
Newton's claim for a spot at Beijing in the men's 50m freestyle was cut short by the tiny margin of 0.13s.
The 26-year-old finished third behind Eamon Sullivan - who set his second world record in the event in two days with a blistering time of 21.28s - while Queenslander Ashley Callus finished second in 22.02s.
It was a devastating result for Newton, who has resurrected his swimming career over the past two years.
Meanwhile, Lennox Head teenager Keatyn Simpson has qualified fifth fastest for the final of the women's 50m breaststroke tonight.
Simpson clocked 32.39s in the semi-finals last night and will line-up against Australian swim team members Tarnee White and world record holder Jade Edmistone.
Former Ballina swimmer Kacey Pilgrim finished fifth in the women's 50m butterfly final in 27.82s.
Earlier in the day, the teenager had finished 28th in the women's 50m freestyle.