Springwood swimmer Matt Wilson sealed his place in the Commonwealth Games in emphatic fashion at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre last week
The 19-year-old won the 200m breaststroke national title at the Australian Swimming Trials on February 28, hitting the wall in a personal best time of 2:08.31.
Wilson also booked himself a Commonwealth Games berth in the 100m breaststroke where he nabbed silver with another personal best time.
The former Winmalee High School student told the Gazette “it was a relief in one way to finally be officially on the team but it’s mainly excitement for what’s to come”.
“I can’t wait to hear the home crowd in a packed stadium when we race, it’s going to be awesome. The experience at last year’s World Championships in Budapest [his first senior Dolphins team] was fantastic but this will be extra special on home soil and with quite a few of my family coming up to watch me too, it’s going to be great.”
Wilson’s 200m swim was even more impressive as his goggles came loose in the final.
“I had a little issue with my goggles and knocked the lane rope in the last 50 because I couldn’t see out of my left side, but that probably only happened because I was sweating quite a bit before the race because it was so hot!” he said. “But you have to learn to adapt when things go wrong and I think I did a pretty good job of that.”
Wilson flew back to Sydney on March 5 where he will undertake three weeks of hard training before joining a staging camp in Queensland ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which start on April 4.
Defending 200m breaststroke Commonwealth Games champion and record holder, Ross Murdoch of Scotland, will likely be Wilson’s biggest competition at the Gold Coast.
“But there is a lot of depth in the breaststroke at this Comm Games and anything can happen,” he said. “I think I am capable of improving on my time I just did at trials and hopefully I can do that if I put my race together on the day.”
Wilson said the mood in the Australian swim team was upbeat.
“It’s very excitable in the Australian camp at the moment, there’s a lot of new faces in the team this year and it’s a pretty big team so everyone is just enjoying themselves and working hard towards doing the best they can to represent Australia with pride.”