Bundaberg’s swimming sensation Isaac Cooper has set a new Australian record in the men’s 50m backstroke at Sydney’s Olympic Park.
Competing in both backstroke and butterfly events Isaac produced a new Australian national record and Oceanic continental record in the men’s 50m backstroke on day one of the 2023 New South Wales State Open Swimming Championships.
While competing on day one of the 2023 New South Wales State Open Championships, the 19-year-old posted a time of 24.38 to grab the gold over a second ahead of the field, with Bradley Woodward claiming silver in 25.57, and Ben Armbruster rounded out the top 3 in 25.68.
Isaac’s performance represents a new lifetime best, beating the 24.44 he logged at last year’s Australian National Championships, which had stood as the national record and Oceanic record.
Isaac’s time also crushed the 24.76 he posted in Budapest which rendered him the 8th-place finisher in this event.
Isaac now becomes the 16th fastest performer in history while also overtaking the season’s world rankings.
He is the only Australian in the top 25 long course 50m Backstroke for men. American swimmer Hunter Armstrong is world number one, with a time of 23.71 – not even a full second faster than Isaac.
Isaac's fantastic performance
Isaac also snared bronze in 50m Butterfly that night, before backing up in the 100m Backstroke on Sunday to also dig deep and win that event despite challenges.
He is coming off of the success of 2022 when he claimed silver in Budapest as a member of Australia’s mixed medley relay at the FINA World Championships.
Isaac's dad Alan Cooper was poolside cheering on his son during the 2023 New South Wales State Open Swimming Championships.
“Isaac did particularly well in all of his events,” Alan said.
“That race was not one he was aiming for particularly – he was not tapering to perform this well, and with the fly (50m Butterfly) he had never trained for that.
“He performed very, very well and we are extremely proud of him.”
Alan said that, following recent challenges in his swimming career including being sent home from the Commonwealth Games, Isaac had struggled with mental health.
“So, to achieve what he did and come away with a record at such a young age – I think down the track he is really going to be someone to watch as he swims well in all events.”
Last December, Isaac returned home to the Bundaberg Region and shared his experience with young swimmers and community members, he had just won five medals at the Short Course World Championships.
He won gold in the Men 4×50 Freestyle Relay and the Men 4×100 Medley Relay, Isaac took out silver in the Men 50 Backstroke and brought home bronze in both the Men 100 Backstroke and Men 4×50 Medley Relay.
Unfortunately, Isaac was denied an individual gold medal after a false start in the men’s 50m backstroke final.
Isaac was the quickest of the group, finishing in 22.49sec to break his own junior world record, but unfortunately the swim did not count.
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