Rackley’s Thomas Neill came out swinging at the recent 2021 Australian Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast, stepping up and wasting no time in securing his maiden national title.
The 18-year-old sailed to a dominant victory at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in the Men’s 800m Freestyle, touching in a time of 7:51.65 to finish almost eight seconds ahead of Dolphins Jack McLoughlin (Chandler) (7:59.33) and Nick Sloman (Noosa) (8:00.68).
The Rackley swimmer expressed his delight with his 800m freestyle time as he looks ahead to June’s Australian Swimming Trials in Adelaide.
“This meet is a stepping stone for all of us heading towards June and Olympic Trials,” he said.
“But it’s nice, confidence-wise, to put a good time together.”
The Queenslander capped off the Australian Swimming Championships with a silver medal in the 400m Freestyle event. The race was down to the wire as Neill went stroke for stroke with Elijah Winnington during the 8-lap battle, finishing just 0.66 seconds behind the St Peters Western’s swimmer.
Neill also finished just outside the podium places in the 200m Freestyle race with a time of 1:47.61 earning him a hard fought fourth.
Despite having a successful campaign on the Gold Coast, the 18-year-old has noticed the competition increase as he reaches the main game.
“Racing these bigger boys, there’s definitely a lot more competition,” Neill said.
“It’s just about getting up, not being afraid, and trying to give it to them.”
The 2021 Australian Swimming Trials get underway from June 12-17 at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre in Adelaide.