Aussie Olympic Hopeful Maddy Gough Clocks World Class 15:38.01 Short Course 1500m Freestyle

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Maddy Gough and the TSS crew after her Australian 5km title in January. Moesha Johnson is pictured on her right. Photo Courtesy: Hanson Media

Gold Coast Olympic hopeful Maddy Gough has gatecrashed her way into the World All-Time Top Ten for 1500m at the 2020 Speedo Short Course Preparation Meet at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

The 21-year-old clocked the eighth fastest time in history with her new Australian and Australian All-Comers record time of 15:38.01 (2:04.72; 4:11.14; 8:22.51) in a two horse race with TSS Aquatic training partner Moesha Johnson who clocked her own personal best time of 15:57.19 (2:05.23; 4:12.00; 8:26.40).

Gough’s time takes five seconds off Olympian Jess Ashwood’s 2015 Australian record of 15:43.83.

It was an eye-catching return to competition for the former Coffs Harbour swimmer who left the NSW North Coast town to pursue her Olympic dreams under former British Olympic coach Chris Nesbit.

And it came at the end of an 85km week of training for the girls, who will now race again this Saturday at the Gold Coast City Championships at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre at Southport.

The world record stands at 15:18.011 set by Germany’s Sarah Kohler last year. Spain’s Olympic 200m butterfly gold medalist from Rio, Mireia Belmonte, who Gough trained with in Fred Vergnoux’s training group until she flew home from an altitude camp after the Coronavirus outbreak in February was the previous world-record holder.

Chris Nesbit with Maddie Gough and Kiah Melverton

TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’: TSS Head Coach Chris Nesbit with Maddy Gough (left) and Kia Melverton. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

“Maddie has been swimming pretty well for a while and Moesha is still a bit behind in regards to training but she has a good attitude and there is still a lot of improvement to come for both of them,” said Nesbit.

“It’s a good training group with Maddy, Moesha and Kia Melverton – they are all a good standard so you rock up every day and someone is going to be pushing the limits so if you are not feeling great it’s good to have training partners.

“We’ve had a gradual build up of training and before that they were doing a fair bit in the sea (open water) while we were out of the pool for an extended period, but they never stopped, they were doing a fair amount.

“They never had any weeks off but we haven’t done any real intensive work yet so that’s encouraging.

“Motivation is an underlying problem for everybody..for all the swimmers really so it’s tough for swimmers who were focused on Tokyo…those older swimmers in particular, it’s been very difficult and it may force some of them into retirement, hopefully not.

“And we live in a great part of the world so we are quite fortunate right now…it could be a lot worse.

“They were both back in this morning for an eight kilometre session and we have a training camp planned on the Sunshine Coast for the week after next so that will be a big week.

“We have different support staff coming in – biomechanists, physios, nutritionists – to do different work.

“It’s a good chance to get people together and out of their home environment. It’s not that we lack pool space that’s not the problem, it’s just a different environment.”

Meanwhile in other events over the two day meet:

Nick Sloman swimming

NICK SLOMAN too fast over 1500m. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Noosa QLD’s open water Olympic hopeful Nick Sloman swam his way into the Australian 1500m freestyle all-time top ten with his encouraging 14:42.75 (1:55.06; 3:53.21; 7:49.17), also claiming the 400m freestyle in 3:49.06.

Sloman’s fellow John Rodgers squad member Kareena Lee, who has already secured her place on the Olympic swim team in the 10km marathon, won the 200m freestyle in 1:58.90; the 400m freestyle in 4:05.73 and the 800m in 8:18.42.



TOM’s THUMBS UP: Thomas Hauck on the way up. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)


Rising star Thomas Hauck (All Saints, Gold Coast QLD) claimed Mitch Larkin’s long standing Queensland 17 years Record and 17 Years All-Comers record in the 200m backstroke, with his 1:54.11 – which had stood since 2010. While Junior World Championship representative Bronte Job (Rackley ST) set a new 17 years Queensland All-Comers record of 26.65 – eclipsing World Championship silver medallist Minna Atherton’s 2017 mark of 26.78, with Gemma Cooney (Brisbane Grammar) winning the women’s 100m butterfly in 58.79.



STYLE MASTER: Bond’s Alex Graham in full flight for Australia. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant


While World Championship relay gold medallist Alex Graham (Bond) won the 100m freestyle in 48.47 from former World Championship Dolphin Louis Townsend (Rackley) 48.93 with Gold Coast-based New Zealander Daniel Hunter (Bond) third in 49.34, with Carla Buchanan (Rackley) taking out the women’s 100m freestyle in 53.85. The men’s 100m and 200m butterfly went to Great Britain’s Jacob Jackson in 53.93 and 1:57.85 respectively.

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