There’s an old saying in sport: you’re only as good as your last race.
That should fill Flynn Southam with confidence as he gears up for the next instalment of what is fast becoming Australian swimming’s heavyweight duel against Olympic Gold medallist Kyle Chalmers.
And Bond’s swimming coaches hope it also comforts rising star Ben Armbruster who faces a stint out of the pool due to a rib injury.
Bachelor of Psychology student Southam will face Chalmers, the alpha male of Australian swimming, in Melbourne next week in the 100m and 200m freestyle at the Australian Trials for the World Aquatic Championships to be held in Fukuoka, Japan in July.
Last time they met in a 100m final was at the Australian Titles where Chalmers was victorious in a time of 48.00 over Kai Taylor and Southam who finished third in 48.53.
However, Hancock Prospecting Swimming Excellence Scholarship recipient Southam put the champ on notice in his 19th and final swim of the meet when he clocked 47.7, the fastest 100m of the event, in the final of the 4x100m freestyle relay which was won by Bond.
Unfortunately, that Fab Four of Southam, Armbruster, Jesse Coleman and Josh Collett will be split up in Melbourne with the news Armbruster is heading back home to Stanthorpe to recuperate and will miss the trials.
Armbruster had given every indication he would have secured a ticket to Japan over a scintillating two-month period when he claimed his first national titles in the 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke.
His time of 23.05 in the 50m butterfly was an all-comers record and is the fastest by an Australian outside of the now banned super suits.
The sports management student also showed he is an emerging threat over 100m by twice going under 52 seconds, with his heat swim of 51.96 the fastest in qualifying.
He followed those Gold Coast heroics with a medal haul at the UniSport Swimming Nationals, despite carrying the niggling injury that will now sideline him for several weeks.
Bond director of Swimming Kyle Samuelson said the decision was made in Armbruster’s long term interests.
“We have taken the cautious approach. It was a tough decision but Ben has shown he has the ability and we would rather give him the chance to recover fully and prepare for the back half of the year and into the Olympic year,” Samuelson said.
Collett in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and Coleman in the 100m butterfly are considered strong chances to earn selection for the Dolphins’ side.
Samuelson also suggested Mia O’Leary, who swims the 50m and 100m double in both breaststroke and freestyle, and Milla Jansen in the 50m and 100m freestyle were also ones to watch.
All head into the event in winning form after the Bond squad were crowned overall champions at the UniSport Nationals Swimming in Sydney, successfully defending their title.