Steve Larkin / AAP News
Image: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia
Olympic gold medallist Zac Stubblety-Cook has laid down an impressive marker ahead of the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Gold Coast 2018 Team Member Zac Stubblety-Cook OAM believes he can lower his breaststroke world record at next month’s world titles.
Stubblety-Cook surprised himself when he swam the fastest 200 metres breaststroke ever in Adelaide on Thursday night.
But the 23-year-old says there’s room for improvement on his record-breaking victory at the Australian championships.
How much more?
“I am not sure,” Stubblety-Cook said.
“I am probably much more process driven than outcome driven.
“But I think I can continue to build that front-end a bit more.
“And we have spoken about it, doing a bit more 100 (metre) work and building through that (first) 100 a little bit quicker.”
Stubblety-Cook won in two minutes 05.95 seconds, besting the previous benchmark of 2:06.12 set by Russian Anton Chupkov in 2019.
And the Brisbane-born athlete, who won gold in the event at last year’s Olympic Games, was banking on being driven faster by stiffer competition at next month’s world titles in Budapest.
“When I race in a world-class event at a world champs it will be even better,” he said after beating Matt Wilson by 4.19 seconds in Adelaide.
Stubblety-Cook said he was largely unaware he was on world-record pace until well into the final lap.
“I didn’t think we were going that fast,” he said.
And nor could he instantly grasp the magnitude of his achievement.
“It’s a lot to wrap your head around,” he added.
“It’s a bit surreal to be perfectly honest.
“I was obviously hoping to swim fast and hoping to swim close to my best.
“But that is just something else.”