'Pretty cooked': Thurston stars in chaotic celeb swim

'Pretty cooked': Thurston stars in chaotic celeb swim

A dramatic night at the Australian swimming championships ended with plenty of fun as athletes and celebrities competed in a chaotic relay race.

In the 6x50m freestyle event in Brisbane, former swimmers paired up with competitors from other sports, as well as TV talent from a host of Channel Nine shows.

Dawn Fraser sounded the horn for the race, with the likes of Johnathan Thurston and Karl Stefanovic featuring in the first leg for their respective teams.

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NRL great Sam Thaiday dived in with grace and was cutting through the pool nicely for a man of his size, but it was “Team Hurst” who emerged with the victory as former Olympian Brenton Rickard got them home.

Sam Thaiday prepares for the celebrity swimming relay.  Nine

“I’m glad I was going last – I could see what was happening and I didn’t want to let the team down,” Rickard told Nine post-race.

Watch Australia’s Paris 2024 swimming trials on Nine and 9Now.

Thurston was one of multiple rugby league stars in the pool and admitted post-race the distance was a lot tougher than he anticipated.

“I’m pretty cooked at the moment – 50 metres, that’s all I had in me,” he said.

“It was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it. I was that nervous and I just didn’t want to embarrass my kids, so hopefully I did alright.”

Johnathan Thurston speaks to Nine after a celeb relay race.  Nine

Nine’s Today co-host Stefanovic cut a dejected figure after his team fell short.

“It was really disappointing, I trained so hard for this race,” he said, with more than a touch of irony.

“I nearly passed out.”

Melbourne Cup winner Michelle Payne, former Wallabies star Drew Mitchell and retired Olympian Mack Horton were also involved in the event.

The race was designed to raise funds for charities of each team’s choosing.

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