Bond young gun Flynn Southam has announced himself as one to watch in the lead up to next year’s World Championships after his bumper haul at the World Short Course Championships in Melbo urne.
Selected exclusively as a relay swimmer, the flying Bull Shark started strongly by claiming silver as part of Australia’s 4 x 100 freestyle team. He followed it with gold in the 4 x 50 freestyle event and another silver in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay. He also claimed silver as a heat swimmer in the 4 x 50 mixed freestyle relay.
Southam said he was still pinching himself.
“It was a special six days being surrounded by such awesome athletes,” he said. “The atmosphere is so intense at a short course event. The crowd is densely packed in. The noise is incredible.”
Southam said the experience offered an invaluable insight into where he was at in the lead up to next year’s World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan and the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“[Short course swimming] is such a good test of your skills with starts and turns being so important. It’s given me a perfect understanding of where I am at and what I need to capitalise on. I reckon I learned as much about myself as a competitor in the past week as I have in the last six months of training.”
He also learned a thing or two about the importance of not just technique, but also physical strength.
“For someone like me who is a lighter build coming off an endurance base, being up against some of these massive humans in a shorter pool was a real eye-opener,” he said. “The power they generate throws a lot of water about, and you really get bounced around. I mean someone like Kyle Chalmers who is 20 or 30 kilos heavier than me and all muscle wouldn’t feel it as much, but I certainly do.”
For now though it’s all about a well-earned rest in the lead up to Christmas.
“I’m not one who likes to slow down too much as a general rule, even after big competitions. Normally I'll jump in the gym and work on some cardio or at least do something. But this time I'm taking some time off in Melbourne with my girlfriend and just enjoying having a little bit of time to be happy and proud of myself.
Fellow Bond swimmer Minna Atherton claimed 12th place overall in the 200m backstroke event.
And Bull Sharks swimmers also shone at the Queensland State Championships held at Brisbane Aquatic Centre earlier this month.
Bond University boasted nine individual state champions and won 55 medals overall.
Mikayla Bird enjoyed an outstanding meet. She won six medals, three of which were gold. Bond
Elite Sport Program student, Ben Armbruster, snared gold in the 50m Butterfly to go with three other medal-winning performances and Milla Jansen won 4 medals including gold in the 50 and 100m sprint events.