Swimming’s Unsung Hero Madison Wilson Swims From Strength To Strength Towards Tokyo

NEC Madi Wilson
IF THE CAP FITS? Madi Wilson a stand out in the Australian Swim Team. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

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Swimming’s Unsung Hero Madison Wilson Swims From Strength To Strength Towards Tokyo

Rio Olympian Madison “Madi” Wilson is an unsung hero of Australian women’s swimming and on the eve of an era that could well rival the success stories that emerged between 2000 and 2008 – Wilson continues to go from strength to strength as Tokyo beckons.

An ageless 26, she has very much been in the shadows of some of the highest profile and most successful Dolphins of the past eight years –racing the likes of Emily Seebohm, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell and Bronte Campbell.

So often playing crucial roles in all of Australia’s relays since making her debut in 2014 – and finally standing on top of the world in her own right alongside team mates Ariarne Titmus, Brianna Throssell and McKeon –the 2019 World Championship victors in the 4x200m freestyle and in a world record time that had stood the test of time through the super-suit era since 2009.,

NEC Madi Wilson start

JUST FOR STARTERS: Madi Wilson will be on the blocks for Tokyo Trials in her adopted home town of Adelaide. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr ()Swimming Australia).

A backstroker by trade and a World Championship silver medallist to Seebohm in 2015 over 100m backstroke in Kazan where she had also swum in the 4×200 freestyle team, Wilson is making a name for herself as a world class freestyler and occasional backstroker.

Wilson continues to improve, just about every time she swims – which for a 26 year-old certainly isn’t the norm – but certainly a mode of consistency that continues to pay dividends.

And they say a change is as good as a holiday for the former Rockhampton product with Wilson’s next move to coach Peter Bishop at Marion, SA from Michael Bohl who took her to Kazan silver, post her Rio debut in 2016 has given her another, lease of life.

At the time Wilson said: ‘It was after the Rio Games where I thought about what was ahead for me in the Olympic cycle.

”I needed something to motivate me for Tokyo and coming (to Adelaide) was just what I needed.”

Wilson was a stand out at the NSW Open Championships that concluded today at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre – racing the most competitive freestyle and backstroke events and up against the usual suspects – the Campbell girls, Seebohm and McKeon – and pushing them to the best times of the year.

Over the last three days in Sydney, Wilson :

WON the a blanket finish 50m backstroke final by 0.01 holding Holly Barratt (Rockingham) 28.10 and Seebohm (Griffith University) 28.11 at bay after;

STIRRING silver in 1:56.85 behind Emma McKeon (1:55.56) in the 200m freestyle final to maintain her presence in the world championship relay group.

A SOLID bronze in 53.47 (pb) in the world class 100m freestyle won by McKeon in the #1 time of the year (52,59) from Cate Campbell (52.83) and ahead of Bronte Campbell (54.11).

AND another podium finish with her third in 24.66 to Cate Campbell (24.11) and McKeon (24.17) in the hotly contested 50m freestyle.

AS WELL as a 1:00.33 for the second fastest time behind Kaylee McKeown in the preliminaries of the 100m backstroke before withdrawing from the final to concentrate on the 50m freestyle.

From three Olympics from Sydney, through Athens and onto Beijing Australian women won 11 gold medals – 7 of them individuals and four relays.

As Tokyo approaches the depth of Australia’s women’s team – especially in freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and the relays has emerged – and reinforced at the conclusion of the four-day morning finals format in Sydney.

And embraced by Australia’s elite band of swimmers who have shaken off any fears associated with swimming fast in the morning and Wilson will be front and centre in the countdown to the June Olympic Trials in Madison’s adopted home town of Adelaide in June.

Meanwhile one of rising stars Kaylee McKeown certainly showed no ill effects of the morning finals, ripping out a sub 2.10.00 time of 2:09.94, in the final session and at the end of a successful meet which saw world class wins in the 100 and 200m backstrokes.

The opening final went to Newcastle’s Meg Bailey (Hunter – Olympic Park HUB) in the women’s 200m butterfly with silver going to Alice Stuart (TSS Aquatic, QLD) in 2:11.26 and bronze to Brittany Castelluzzo (Tea Tree Gully, VIC) in 2:11.75.

The men’s 100m butterfly saw a quinella from the NSW Blues Edward Marks (Carlile – Olympic Park HUB) 52.90 from Shaun Champion (Abbotsleigh) 53.08 taking the gold and silver medals respectively from Rio Olympian David Morgan (TSS Aquatic) in 53.13.

The withdrawal of the titleholder, former world record holder and world championship silver medallist (SOPAC – Olympic Park HUB) after he woke up with the affects of a cold and was withdrawn by coach Adam Kable, threw the race wide open.

“It was best not to take any risks after Matt woke up with the cold -= so we thought it best under the circumstances to withdraw Matt this morning’s final,” said Kable, with the Australian Open Championships on the Gold Coast next month and the countdown on for the June Olympic Trials in Adelaide.

In Wilson’s absence the gold went to Daniel Cave (Melbourne Vicentre) in 2:15.61 from Samuel Williamson (Firbank Aquastars,) in 2:16.85 and the bronze to James McKechnie (Starplex) in 2:18.09 in an all Victorian podium.

The men’s 50m event saw the first four swimmers under 23 seconds with St Peters Western QLD’s Jack Cartwright take the win in 22.33 from Cameron McEvoy (TSS Aquatic) in 22.69 with Michael Pickett (New Zealand) third in 22.82

The men’s 400 IM went to Se-Bom Lee (Carlile) in 4:23.83 from Marco Soesanto (Surrey Park, VIC) in 4:29.98 from Hunter NSW’s Charlie Hawke in 4:32.39

While dual Olympian Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) capped off a great meet adding the 100m backstroke in 54.14 to his wins in the 200m backstroke and 200IM.

Sydney boy William Yang (Loreto Normanhurst) 55.03 picked up the silver behind Larkin with and Bradley Woodward (Mingara – Olympic Park HUB) third in 55.06.

And he women’s 1500m saw a TSS Aquatic Southport) trifecta to Maddy Gough who won the newly added Olympic event, the1500m freestyle in 16:04.56 with the silver going to 5km National champion Moesha Johnson (16:16.93) and the bronze to Kiah Melverton in 16:20.47.


1 comment

  1. avatar

    It really hurts to see so many AUS female swimmers starving themselves/having eating disorders. Heroism or not, It is just not worth it to win medals.