Short Smashes Long-Standing Record

09 April 2021

Rackley’s Samuel Short showcased his talents on night five of the 2021 Australian Age Swimming Championships, claiming gold in the Boy’s 17-years 800m Freestyle in a time that eclipsed Kieren Perkin’s All Comers Record set back in 1991.

Steaming home to the finish line from lane four in 7:52.18, Short – who also took home gold in the 200m freestyle on Thursday night – shaved .75 of a second off the long-standing record of the triple Olympian. Placing second was St Peters Western's Joshua Staples (8:07.84), while as the third fastest Australian George Williamson from Rackley received bronze in 8:29.33.

Speaking after the race at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Short said it felt surreal to break a record held by one of his idols.

“It feels pretty amazing – I’ve looked up to him (Perkins) my whole life,” Short said.

Flynn Southam - Bond - Mega image
Southam racks up another Age Record on the Gold Coast.

“He’s ‘the man’ of the sport for distance swimming in Australia and he was the first for a lot of things, it’s an honour really.

“Leading into trials I’ll have a lot of competition in the 800m. At the back end of the 400m I need to kind of hang tough really and need to work on coming back harder. I went out hard but kind of fell off towards the backend, but you live, and you learn.”

It was a case of déjà vu for local champ Flynn Southam who, after breaking the Boy’s 15-year 100m Freestyle Age Record last night, backed up his strong performance to surpass yet another record. The Bond athlete blitzed the field in the Boy’s 17-years 50m Freestyle to set a new time of 22.83 – bettering the record he set in December by .08 of a second. Southam’s Bond teammate Jude Youens grabbed silver clocking 23.55 while Jamison Morgan posted 23.93 to claim bronze.

Fresh from pool deck, Southam said he was purely focussed on his own race.

“It’s a good feeling. I didn’t have a time in mind, just focusing on putting together the best possible race I can execute and if the time is there it’s there, if not there’s more to work on.”

Rackley’s success continued on night five, as Niamh Bedggood took out the Girl’s 15-years 100m Breaststroke in 1:09.95 to secure her first Age crown of the meet. In a tight tussle for silver and bronze, it came down to the wire between Madeleine Horvath (Nunawading) and Isabella Johnson (Epping). With a whisker separating the duo it was Horvath who just got the touch – 1:10.85 to 1:10.87.

From breaststroke to fly, Rocky City teammates Sally Vagg and Taryn Roberts bagged the top two spots on the podium in the Girls 14-years 200m Butterfly. After snaring two silver medals thus far at the champs, Vagg broke through for gold to claim the Australian Age title in 2:15.51. Roberts, who already has two gold medals to her name, snuck home for silver in 2:16.43. Moreton Bay’s Francesca Chitukudka placed third in 2:17.96.

Hannah Casey from MCA snared her second Australian Age title on night five – this time in the Girls 14-years 100m Freestyle. Powering home in 55.93, Casey couldn’t be caught by those on her toes with Olivia Wunsch (Carlile) hitting the wall in 56.24 for silver and Bond’s Milla Jansen receiving bronze in 56.73.

The night concluded with a host of speedy relay events, access the results here.

The action continues tomorrow at 9am (local time). You can catch every race live from the Gold Coast Swimming & Aquatic Centre on Amazon Prime Video or via SwimTV.

More results from night five:

Boys 16-years 800m Freestyle

Gold – Robert Thorpe, St Peters Western, 8:14.01

Silver – Benjamin Goedemans, Acacia Bayside, 8:15.80

Bronze – Caleb Dryer, Trinity Grammar, NSW, 8:22.82

2021 Age Champs - Relays
The night ended with a flurry of relays!


Boys 15-years 100m Breaststroke

Gold – Gideon Burnes, Palm Beach Currumbin, 1:05.89 

Silver – Ryan Cothill, EC Waves, 1:06.02

Bronze – Karl Albertyn, Knox Pymble, 1:06.03

Boys 14-years 200m Butterfly

Gold – Ike Martinez, TAS Swimming, 2:03.76 

Silver – James Gauci, SOPAC, 2:08.50

Bronze – Samuel Higgs, Warringah Aquatic, 2:10.71


Girls 16-years 100m Backstroke

Gold – Sophie Healy, Norwood, 1:03.32

Silver – Madeleine Hardy, Trinity Grammar, NSW, 1:03.43 

Bronze – Anneke Van Zoggel, Epping, 1:03.73


Boys 16-years 100m Backstroke

Gold – Fergus McLachlan, Norwood, 56.77

Silver – Yanning Zhang, Nunawading, 58.02

Bronze – Tane Bidois, Knox Pymble, 58.05


Boys 17-years 400m Individual Medley

Gold – Joshua Staples, St Peters Western, 4:24.36

Silver – Lachlan Walker, Alstonville, 4:25.23

Bronze – Ruan Van Der Riet, UWA West Coast, 4:33.21


Girls 15-years 400m Freestyle

Gold – Amelia Weber, St Peters Western, 4:16.14

Silver – Julia Kater, St Hilda’s Aquatics Queensland, 4:19.39

Bronze – Abbey Connor, Revesby Workers, 4:20.15


Boys 15-years 400m Freestyle

Gold – Anders McAlpine, Chandler, 3:57.28

Silver – Jye Bennion, St Peters Western, 4:03.35

Bronze – Karl Albertyn, Knox Pymble, 4:06.37


Boys 14-years 100m Freestyle

Gold – Thomas Booth, Southside Aquatics, 53.90

Silver – Caleb Yago, Castle Hill RSL, 53.98

Bronze – Ike Martinez, TAS Swimming, 54.17


Girls 13-years 200m Backstroke

Gold – Zoe Ammundsen, Rackley, 2:22.30

Silver – Jessica Wilson, Nunawading, 2:23.77

Bronze – Kate Nankervis, St Peters Western, 2:23.97


Boys 17-years 200m Breaststroke

Gold – Yannik Zwolsman, Southport Olympic, 2:15.74

Silver – Bailey Lello, Churchie, 2:16.64

Bronze – Joshua Collett, Knox Pymble, 2:16.82


Girls 16-years 400m Individual Medley

Gold – Ella Ramsay, St Peters Western, 4:47.28

Silver – Elizabeth Dekkers, Newmarket Racers, 4:49.47

Bronze – Tiana Kritzinger, Nudgee College, 4:52.56


Boys 16-years 400m Individual Medley

Gold – William Petric, Nunawading, 4:23.38

Silver – Evan Chee, Nunawading, 4:28.37

Bronze – Robert Thorpe, St Peters Western, 4:29.67


Girls 15-years 50m Freestyle

Gold – Josephine Crimmins, Newmarket Racers, 26.27

Silver – Semra Olowoniyi, St Peters Western, 26.31

Bronze – Claveria Johnson-Tiumalu, St Peters Western, 26.57

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