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Big win for Flynn

Flynn Southam
Flynn Southam

Flynn Southam has declared his intention to challenge for an individual berth on the Australian team for this year’s world championships after taking down Olympians to claim his first open age 200m freestyle title.

The Hancock Prospecting Swimming Excellence scholarship holder edged out a pair of fellow Bondies, 400m World Champion Elijah Winnington and Alexander Graham, to claim Gold at the NSW State Titles last week.

Southam now has his eyes on individual glory after winning gold medals in the 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x100m mixed freestyle relays at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 

“I think last year was a good introduction to being on the senior team as a relay swimmer,” he said.

“But this year my focus is to race individual events, I am ready for it, I am hungry and I want to prove myself against the best in Australia and then the world.’’

The 17-year-old was less than a second outside his personal best of 1.46.77, which was a strong result considering the Bond team trained right up to the event.

However, he said the most pleasing aspect was his ability to back up after a tough opening night where he finished fourth in the 100m.     

“It was a pretty stacked race, like a preview of what to expect at the trials, and it was my first win at an open level in a big competition so that was good for me,’’ he said.

“It was more about challenging myself than times, coming back from a pretty disappointing swim the night before in the 100m, it was more of a test to bounce back.’’

Southam tore his suit in the lead-up to the 100m and almost missed the race as he hastily arranged a replacement.

“A few things went a bit south, I got into some fight or flight, I was late to marshalling and almost missed the race,” he said.

“Chris Mooney (Bond coach) always tells me to expect the unexpected, to be prepared for anything and this was an example of that. 

“People always look for positive experiences, but I think there is a lot you can learn from negative experiences also, and I was happy that I was able to move on quickly from the disappointment of the first night.’’

The Bull Sharks took an emerging squad to the Olympic pool in Homebush for the event and Director of Swimming Kyle Samuelson said he came away from the event thrilled with the team’s performance.

“I think they are tracking really well,” he said.

“It is a young squad who are just starting to emerge in open competition and their performances at a big event like that will give them a real boost in their training as they prepare for the Aussie titles next month.’’

Hancock Prospecting Swimming Excellence scholarship recipient Josh Colllet recorded three podium finishes with silver in the 100m breaststroke and bronze in 50m breaststroke and 200m Individual medley.

Ben Armbruster also collected two medals with silver in the 50m butterfly and bronze in the 50m backstroke.

Sports Leadership scholarship holder Tilly King was second in the 50m breaststroke while Mikayla Bird claimed bronze in the 200m butterfly.

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