Bundaberg’s Isaac Cooper has put in a strong performance in Budapest, collecting a silver medal in the mixed medley relay at the FINA World Championships.
The prestigious competition provides the chance for athletes to compete ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham next month.
Isaac placed in one of the four events he competed in and held his place strong, finishing close to this personal best time of 53.43 in the 100m backstroke event, swimming it in 53.55 in Budapest.
He was the second youngest competitor in the field at the age of 18 and mixed it with the best from throughout the globe in the Men's 50m Backstroke final at the FINA World Swimming Championships, missing a medal by a mere .27sec in placing eighth in 24.76sec, .16sec slower than his semi-final time.
Justin Ress (USA) claimed the gold in 24.12, from Hunter Armstrong (USA) 24.14, 17-year-old Ksawery Masiuk (Poland) 24.49, Thomas Ceccon (Italy) 24.51, Apostolos Christou (Greece) 24.57, Robert Glinta (ROU) 24.57, and Ole Braunschweig (Germany) 24.66.
He did secure a silver medal in his role as a heat swimmer in the 4x100m medley relay with his Australian teammates swimming the final to secure a podium position.
Isaac’s former Bundaberg coach Paul Simms said he was extremely proud of the performance the young swim star had put in in Budapest in what he described as a high-pressure event.
“It is great to see how he is handling the pressure at just 18 years of age in this level of competition,” Paul said.
“To be able to still swim fast and to get anywhere near your personal best at an event like this is a fantastic achievement and he is in a good position looking ahead to the Commonwealth Games.”
The World Championships provide an opportunity for athletes to compete at a high level in preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
Swimming Australia CEO Eugénie Buckley congratulated the selected athletes, expressing her pride on behalf of the broader swimming community.
“These World Championships are the first step on the path to Paris and I have no doubt our Dolphins will continue to set the benchmark on that journey,” Buckley said.
“It’s wonderful to see a mixture of our established leaders, and the joy of those experiencing selection on an Australian team for the first time and I’m sure each and every athlete will do us proud.”
Isaac’s next challenge will come when he competes in the Commonwealth Games, beginning on Thursday 28 July.
Other stories: Bowls results and news from around the region