Swimmer Short won’t stop short again

Steve Larkin / AAP News


The swimmer poked fun at his mistake at the Australian Commonwealth Games selection trials in May.

Sam Short, the swimmer who stopped short, has heard all the jokes.

At Australia’s selection trials in May, the 1500m freestyler swam 1400m and stopped, thinking his race was done.

Only when the Adelaide crowd rallied and stewards kept ringing the bell in his ear did he realise.

He swam on, and won.

At the Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Tuesday, Short completed the 1500m with no mistakes.

“I was definitely counting my laps,” he said.

“I heard there was not too many lap counters on the bottom of the pool … so I made sure I switched my brain on before the race.

“I counted properly this time. I knew when the bell was coming. I’m all good.”

Short is short-odds favourite to win 1500m gold.

In Tuesday’s heats he was almost 21 seconds quicker than the next-best, fellow Australian Kieren Pollard.

But the 18-year-old Short has something else on his mind other than gold in Wednesday night’s final.

Short soaks up Australia’s rich 1500m freestyle history and wants to join a list headed by his hero Kieren Perkins.

“(Grant) Hackett, Perkins, Mack (Horton) – they are all under 14 (minutes) 50 (seconds) at 18-years-old,” he said.

“So I really want to get underneath that mark.

“I would rather a good solid time than a place to be honest, get my name down in some of the Australian records.”

Short joined a batch of Australians – watched by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton – through to the next phase of their events on Tuesday morning.

Australia’s Liz Dekkers was fastest into the women’s 200m butterfly final, where she will be joined by teammates Abbey Connor and Brianna Throssell.

Kaylee McKeown, who has already pocketed the 100m backstroke gold medal, advanced into the 50m backstroke semi-finals along with her teammates Bronte Job and Mollie O’Callaghan.

All three Australian entrants in the men’s 200m backstroke – Brad Wood ward, Joshua Edwards-Smith and Mitch Larkin – also bo oked semi-final berths, as did 50m freestylers Tom Nowakowski, Bell Grayson and Flynn Southam.

And the Dolphins’ mixed 4x100m medley relay team were quickest-qualifiers thro ugh the heats, some six seconds faster than the next-best England.

The Australian heat line-up of Larkin, Sam Williamson, Alex Perkins and Madi Wilson will get a complete overhaul for Tuesday night’s final with big guns McKeown, Emma McKeon, Kyle Chalmers and Zac Stubblety-Cook a possible line-up.



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