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Schoolboy makes Birmingham swim team

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Steve Larkin / AAP News
Image: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia

 

Sixteen-year-old superfish Flynn Southam has booked his ticket to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games with a stunning swim in Adelaide.

 

A schoolboy swimmer likened to 10-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Ian Thorpe and four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kyle Chalmers has punched his ticket to the world titles and Commonwealth Games.

Flynn Southam, a 16-year-old freestyler from northern New South Wales, has secured spots on Australia’s team for both international meets.

Southam will be a 100 metres and 200m freestyle relay squad member for next month’s worlds.

And on Saturday night he secured an individual 100m freestyle swim at the Commonwealth Games in July-August when finishing third in a final won by William Yang, with Zac Incerti second.

Southam last month bettered the 100m freestyle Australian age record of Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kyle Chalmers when he clocked 48.60, some 0.09 seconds faster than a 16-year-old Chalmers logged in 2015.

That swim came a night after he nudged Ia n Thorpe’s long-standing 200m freestyle age record, finishing 0.77 seconds outside of the 16-year-old Thorpe’s mark set in 1999.

“You have got to respect and acknowledge those guys who are greats of the sport,” Southam said.

“But I am on my own path as well.

“It was just a great experience being here at my first trial meet.”

Southam’s swim came after Kaylee McKeown added the 200m backstroke national title to the 100m backstroke she won on Friday night.

The Olympic champion in both events was content with her winning time of two minutes 05.31 seconds, given she’s still in heavy training under her new coach Michael Bohl ahead of next month’s world championships.

“I have got a new place to live, new coach, new training – it’s a whole lot of new things I am still getting used to,” McKeown told AAP.

“And this year it’s not necessarily worth worrying about PBs or times, it’s setting up the stepping stones to Paris,” she said, referring to the 2024 Olympics.

Also Saturday night, Bowen Gough, at the age of 28, secured selection on his first Australian teams by winning the men’s 200m butterfly.

Gough will be joined on the teams by fellow veteran Holly Barratt who, aged 34, won the women’s 50m butterfly.

Brendon Smith triumphed in the men’s 400m individual medley and Lani Pallister won the women ‘s 1500m freestyle final.

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