Commonwealth Games: Zac Stubblety-Cook Rallies Late to Complete 200 Breaststroke Trifecta

Zac Stubblety-Cook2

Commonwealth Games: Zac Stubblety-Cook Rallies Late to Complete 200 Breaststroke Trifecta

The trifecta is complete for Zac Stubblety-Cook.

With Olympic and World Championships gold medals in the 200-meter breaststroke already secured, the Australian added the Commonwealth Games title to his collection on Friday night. Competing at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham, England, Stubblety-Cook claimed his latest crown in a time of 2:08.07, the performance notched on the one-year anniversary of his Olympic triumph.

Heading into the meet, the event was one of the most predictable on the schedule, but Stubblety-Cook had to produce a come-from-behind triumph to beat England’s James Wilby, who earned the silver medal in 2:08.59. The bronze medal was picked up by Scotland’s Ross Murdoch, as his effort of 2:10.41 was quick enough to deny a podium place to Aussie Matthew Wilson (2:10.57).

Meet Results

Zac Stubblety-Cook

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Although best known for his back-end speed, Stubblety-Cook didn’t figure to face much of a deficit, if any at all, at the Commonwealth Games. Yet, he found himself trailing Wilby by a half-second after the opening 50 meters and by .69 at the 100-meter point. True to form, Stubblety-Cook stayed strong over the last two lengths, with a 32.97 split pulling him to within .36 and a closing lap of 32.31 propelling him to the wall ahead of the field. Wilby closed in 33.19, nearly a second slower than the Australian.

While Stubblety-Cook was a major international factor before the Olympic Games in Tokyo, he has been an unstoppable force over the past year. In addition to winning a trio of major championships, Stubblety-Cook also set a world record of 2:05.95 at the Australian Championships in May. He is the only athlete to crack the 2:06 barrier in the event.

However, go back to the last version of the Commonwealth Games, held in 2018 on the Gold Coast. At that edition, Stubblety-Cook failed to advance out of the preliminaries, as a swim of 2:15.71 left him more than three seconds shy of the qualifying time necessary for the final. Gradually, he cut time and turned himself into an elite performer in the event.

Meanwhile, Wilby and Murdoch made return trips to the medals stand. Wilby was the champion in 2018, with Murdoch grabbing the silver medal. Murdoch now has a complete collection of medals from the event at the Commonwealthh Games, as he was the champion in 2014 in Glasgow.



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