Bundaberg's 17-year-old sensation Isaac Cooper’s Olympic dream will become a reality when he contests the heats of his specialty event, the Men’s 100m Backstroke at the Tokyo Games on the night program this Sunday.
Isaac led from the start before being pipped on the last stroke by Mitch Larkin by a mere 0.09sec at the Australian Olympic Trials last month but he trained strongly at the Team Camp in Cairns before flying to Japan with the rest of the Green and Gold contingent last Saturday and has declared that he has “never felt better”.
“I really do feel like I belong here, and I just feel like all I need to do now is race,” Isaac said from the Games Village.
“I will be competing in the 100 backstroke and depending on how I go in the individual, I will find out where I’m swimming in the relay (heat or final).”
Isaac would naturally love to progress to the final, but he will take it one step at a time.
“I have never really set goals because I don’t believe in putting a limit on yourself. I’m all about the execution. If you can execute the race to the best of your abilities, then that’s all you can ask from yourself. The time and the results will follow,” he said.
His heat is scheduled for 9.19pm (AEST).
Anyone wanting to send their best wishes to Isaac can message him at mr.isaaccooper on Instagram.
2020 Australian PGA Seniors Championship winner in his break-out year and former PGA Tour victor Andre Stolz took out the Ken’s Plumbing/CUB/Lindsay Australia Bargara Legends Pro-Am last week.
In the quality field of 66, the 51-year-old New South Welshman started the second day one shot behind the overnight leaders, but his second consecutive round of 4-under par (68) for a tournament total of 136 put him in front by one shot.
Australian golfing legend and two-time Australian Open Champion Peter Senior, 61, finished in a tie for second, after he birdied the last 3 holes for a round two score of -4 under par (68) and total score of 137, a single shot off Andre for the second consecutive event.
Andre had also beaten Peter in the Tropical Auto Group Yeppoon Legends Pro-Am five days earlier.
Joining Peter in the tie for second was equal overnight leader Victorian Euan Walters after his round two score of 2-under par (70).
A further three shots back in tied third were Queenslanders Simon Tooman and Nigel Lane, who finished with a two round scores of 140.
Andre turned professional in 1992 and he has played on the PGA Tour of Australasia, Japan Golf Tour, Nationwide Tour, and PGA Tour, and in November last year at the Australian PGA Seniors tournament, playing alongside fellow Aussie legends Peter Lonard and Peter O’Malley, he claimed victory with a three-round total of 9-under 201, four strokes ahead of Peter in second place at 5-under par.
Peter Senior, who has won more than 20 tournaments around the world, has competed mainly on the PGA Tour of Australasia, where he has had the most success and won the Order of Merit on four occasions, and the European Tour.
Andre received prizemoney of $3,880.80 and his trophy from Bargara Golf Club president Dave Wilkinson, who also presented Club Professional Phil Curd with a trophy for his hole-in-one that he had the previous week.
Bargara 2019 champion Richard Backwell did not compete, but joint runners-up Chris Hollingsworth and Paul Dalgleish could manage only shares of 24th and 45th respectively this time.
The event boasted a total purse of $22,000, and the course was turned out in pristine condition.
Bundaberg Open and Under-17 representative teams both acquitted themselves well in the Central Premier League over the past fortnight, concluding with the second round at Yeppoon over the weekend.
The Bundaberg Open side lost the final to Capricorn Coast, while their Under-17’s defeated Gladstone Blue by 10 points in the play-off for third.
Bundaberg Open coach Sandy Baker was delighted with their results.
“We played 8 games over the two weekends and only lost one game to Cap Coast, so it was a really good performance out all those teams, and we also qualified for the play-off for first against them,” Sandy said.
“Most Cap Coast players are very good, and some of them are Claws players in the State League, and they are always strong, but we competed strongly against them.”
Sandy named Centre/Wing Attacks Riley Dallas and Hazel Mauga as their best.
“Our centre court played really well, also our Goalkeeper, captain and oldest player Breanna Simpson had some really good games, and our youngest, Year 12 student Kendall Dodd was also really good with her shooting game,” she said.
Bundaberg U17 coach Sharyn Batt also said her side excelled to finish behind only Cap Coast and Emerald.
“It was a fairly new side which came together for rep – we finished equal 3rd with 2 other teams but we had a better goaling percentage which pushed us into that play-off, and we grew over the 2 weekends and improved as a team – we held firm across the competition and got it together and ended up third,” Sharyn said.
“Co-captain Macey Egan and Angel Cory were good in the defensive circle – they turned over a lot of ball as a team and we got down the other end and converted – our other co-captain Annabel Roelofs was also good in centre-court, mainly in centre/wing defence, but I could name all of them – they all played their part, and we did it as a team.”
Bundaberg Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership matches resume at the Superpark tomorrow, with reigning champions and unbeaten leaders Waves Gold to meet Natives Magpies at 6.30pm, when Fusion Solomon also clash with Alloway Blue.
In the early Division 1 match, second placed Brothers Hurricanes will go head-to-head with Waves Blue at 5pm.
Norville State School took out the coveted Central Queensland Primary Schools Regional Shield for the first time in 7 years in Rockhampton last week after their rugby league team wound up third and their netball side claimed second place.
With 22 league teams competing from as far north to Mackay, and West to Springsure, Norville Bulldogs started well despite fielding just 14 players, winning their four games on day 1, defeating Glenmore SS 30-0, Parkhurst SS 20-10, Springsure 16-4, and Kin Kora 18-0.
They unfortunately went down to ultimate champions Frenchville in the 1v4 semi-final to start day 2, but bounced back to clinch third place with a 14-6 victory over Mt Archer SS.
Long serving iconic Bulldogs coach Mr Greg Kruger said he was “really surprised” to do so well especially after going away with just one Interchange player, but that they “played awesomely well”.
He named five-eighth Hunter White-Ellacott, halfback Ashley Earnshaw, captain and second rower Dai-shaun Tanna, Hunter Schnabel, whose elder brother Kiya, a graduate of their class of 2014 who has just signed for the Central Capras Under-21 squad, and fullback Drew Gage, as their standouts.
The carnival was inaugurated in 2009, with Norville making their debut in 2010, and winning the Overall Shield for the first time in 2014, when Greg said current Bundaberg A Grade stars Brendan Grills and Lachlan Patterson were among their league class.
There were 29 teams in netball, and Norville Sapphires won all their 6 games over a hectic 3-hour schedule on Day 1, against Baralaba 21-0, Mt Archer 17-4, Emerald 18-0, Yeppoon 29-1, Walkerston 16-6 and Ridgelands 17-5.
Day two of competition was unfortunately washed out, leaving Norville in second position.
Their proud coach Ms Cherida Mason said after starting with just 9 players, they lost a few to injuries in their early games but they continued to play “really well with a lot of new players who represented us very well and worked hard”.
“I love coaching them – they train every Monday afternoon in their own time, and our Player of the Match votes were spread out – our Goal Shooter Layla Waghorne keeps it all together, but we had lots of awesome players,” Ms Mason said.
“We had two young year 5’s and with the games they played in defence, we are going to build the team around them next year, Maddison Brennan and Madeline Medley – they are the babies of the team but they just live and breathe defence and have done wonderful jobs.
“Pippa Hetherington, our Centre, also did a great job – we pulled her in late a couple of weeks out because our Centre was injured, and she has also done a wonderful job.
“Also, Abigail Churchill is just amazing, feeding the circle with her needle work, and Captain young Kyja Taylor at Goal Attack grew in confidence every game and she kept improving – she has really improved this season.
“Chelsea Bright was our stand-in Goalkeeper, and she also did well but was unfortunately injured in our third game, and Keona Fulton and Emily Daniell just played consistently – they are our versatile fill-in players who are new to netball.”
Mr Kruger said Norville amassed 13 points across the two sports to snare the silverware, with league victors Frenchville’s netball team not reaching the finals, and netball champions Marian SS, of Mackay, not represented in league.
Bundaberg East and Woongarra State Schools both also contested the netball competition, but neither entered their rugby league teams.
Wondai veteran Elusive Element will get the chance to repeat his shock victory over local idol and grey flash Ten Taubada’s in last year’s Bundaberg Gold Cup when the two line up again in the feature event on the local calendar at Thabeban Park tomorrow.
The Lindsay Australia Bundaberg Gold Cup carries a rich purse of $15,000 over the 1380m course, and last year, the event was postponed to 5th September, with rank outsider Elusive Element ($18) coming from the clouds to beat Ten Taubada’s by a half-length.
The 8-year-old, which will be having his 92nd start tomorrow, has won just 2 of his subsequent 14 starts, taking his career tally to just 6 victories, and he will again be ridden by last year’s winning apprentice Shannyn Stephan, and with her 1.5km allowance, he will carry the light weight of 53kg.
But he was runner-up to Wrecking Ball, which like Ten Taubada’s, is trained by champion Bundaberg mentor Darryl Gardiner, at the last meeting on the track over the same distance on 27th May, and he will also carry just 53kg with the allowance for jockeys’ premiership leader apprentice Rebecca Wilson.
Ten Taubada’s was spelled after the 2020 Cup and has been well below his best in five starts since resuming, but improved to be a fighting third to his new star stable-mate Mountain Courage at that last Bundaberg race day, and at his best, he would also be among the chances.
But the form runner is track debutant Toowoomba seven-year-old Mr Tickets, which won over 1600m at Gatton on 3rd April and 1400m at Dalby on 24th April, before finishing fifth at Rockhampton and 6th at Mackay at his most recent outing in May.
Mountain Creek will take a power of beating in the premier sprint on the Bundaberg calendar, the 850m Haifa Lightning Handicap, with Rockhampton duo, Exocet Rocket, which won over the distance at the Bundaberg Catholic School Race Day in March before being runner-up at Yeppoon and Gladstone and is trained by last year’s winner Kevin Miller, and 2020 second placegetter Belzu, the dangers.
Bacio Vincente, a three-year-old full brother to Bundaberg champ King Klaus, which is also trained by Gary Clem, looks a special in the Maiden at his first Bundaberg start in the maiden after his last-start second on stable debut in Gladstone on 29th May.
Another Bundaberg trainer Laura Cronan has a strong hand in the remaining two events, with last-start Esk maiden winner Call Me Bel and Investible in the Class B, and Gambit in a wide-open Benchmark 60 Handicap.
Competition will fierce but friendly when the Bundaberg Dragon Boat Club hosts the final round of the Wide Bay Dragon Boat Series at Lions Park North Bundaberg tomorrow.
Races will be held on the Burnett River between the Burnett Traffic and Rail bridges, with the first event set down for 9am and racing to be complete by around noon.
Vantage points will be on both sides of the river and the jetty below the zoo, if you want to come down and see the action. There will be a Street Food Van and Coffee vendor near the boat ramp at Lions Park.
Everyone is invited to come along and to see these 200m races that usually take less than one minute, and you may find that this is a sport that you can be involved in.
Just three of Bundaberg’s five teams in the Wide Bay Men’s Premier League will be in action tomorrow, with leaders Across The Waves (ATW) to host Granville at 6pm, third placed United Park Eagles (UPE) away to KSS Jets, and fifth placed
Brothers-Aston Villa needing to bounce back against their hosts, second seeds Fraser Flames.
Bingera’s game of this round against SC Corinthians has been rescheduled for 17th August, while Diggers have the bye.
Also in the Women’s Premier League, only two of Bundaberg’s three teams will feature this round, in a local derby between No. 2 UPE and fifth placed Bingera at Martens Oval tonight at 8pm.
After losing their past 2 matches, reigning champions Across The Waves Eagles will be hungry to get their season back on track when they host their win-less cross-town rivals Brothers Bulldogs in the Wide Bay Marquis Macadamias Seniors Premiership at what is certain to be a chilly Frank Coulthard Oval at 8.30pm tonight.
The Eagles have beaten the Bulldogs in their three clashes so far this year, by 45 points on Anzac Day, 86 points on 7th May, and by just two points on 12th June, when they were without their best two players in Damian McRae and Jason Bethune.
However, they are expected to be close to full strength tonight, and they also show no mercy against their arch-rivals.
There will also be a Hervey Bay Derby tomorrow between the Bombers and Power.
Arrows/Athletics’ Men and Women have not lost in Bundaberg Hockey Division 1 for the last three completed rounds, with their Men to chase four wins in a row when they take on Waves Cities at 7.10pm tomorrow at Hinkler Park, while their Women, who have 2 wins and a draw from their past 3 starts, to take to the field at 3.10pm.
Cities’ Men blunted Arrows 6-2 when they last met on 12th June, when their Women battled out a 1-all draw.
The battling All Blacks will meet Raiders/Rovers in all grades, with their Men’s match-up at 4.30pm, and their Women at 5.50pm.
Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president Ricky Hassall also had a good day on the track at this week’s meeting at Thabeban Park, taking out a double, along with Takura trainer David Plummer.
Ricky was successful with hot favourite Be So Good, which recorded his ninth victory in 49 starts, and up and comer Baroonga Breeze, both in 5th Grades.
David got the money with the promising youngsters and litter brothers Fogelberg, which completed a hat-trick of wins on the track in the Best 8, and Little Ripper, which made it 3 wins and 3 placings from 8 starts in a 5th Grade.
Barcia Bullet, from the Bouldercombe kennels of Darren Taylor, posted his fifth successive Bundaberg win in the Free For All.
Two other Bundaberg trainers were also among the winners on the day, David Raines, with Zeke the Freak in a Mixed 4th/5th Grade, and John White with Bro’s Girl in a 5th Grade Heat.