2019 Oceanian Male Swimmer of the Year: Matthew Wilson, Australia
Before 2018, 20-year-old Matthew Wilson‘s lifetime best in the LCM 200 breast was not even sub-2:08. By the end of the season, he would be under 2:07, well under, and have a brief moment as a World Record holder.
In 2019, Wilson emerged into the spotlight when he broke countryman Christian Sprenger‘s super-suit era 200 breast Oceanian/Australian record with a 2:07.16 at the Australian National Championships in April.
That swim earned him a spot on the 2019 World Championship team, where during the 200 breast semi-finals, he tied Ippei Watanabe‘s 2016 world record of 2:06.67, once again re-slating himself in Australian history and world history. The event final featured the 3 fastest performers in history, including Wilson, Watanabe, and Russian Anton Chupkov. While Chupkov wound up winning the event and breaking Wilson/Watanabe’s world record, Wilson almost matched his time from the semis (missing by .01) and wound up with a silver medal.
Wilson was also a member of the winning mixed 400 medley relay alongside country-mates Mitch Larkin, Emma McKeon, and Cate Campbell. During the relay, Wilson split a 58.37.
For the inaugural ISL season, Wilson joined many of his fellow Aussies to the London Roar, where he was a key relay member and event scorer. While the London Roar finished second in the league finale, Wilson did finish his debut season with one individual event win (200 breast) under his belt.
Wilson is now the second breaststroker to win this Swammy after Christian Sprenger won the inaugural award in 2013.
in no particular order
- Kyle Chalmers, Australia — The 21-year-old Rio Olympian walked out of the 2019 Worlds pool with 4 medals around his neck, including a silver in the 100 free (47.08) that made him the 3rdd-fastest Aussie in event history behind Cameron McEvoy. Chalmers’ 100 free successes also made him essential to relays, where he contributed to the bronze 400 free relay, silver mixed 400 free relay, and the title-winning 800 free relay (7:00.85). Chalmers then joined the London Roar, where he contributed 3 individual wins, including the Budapest skins title, and set the Oceanian SCM 50 free record (20.74) during his debut season.
- Mack Horton, Australia — Horton was the center of the biggest controversy of the 2019 World championships, protesting to stand next to 400 free champion Sun Yang after taking silver to the Chinese native. With the protest aside, Horton also played a successful role in the 800 free relay that set the Oceanian record at 7:00.85.
- Mitch Larkin, Australia — The BK/IM specialist threw down a speedy 1:55.72 at the 2019 Aussie World Trials, which put himself as #9 on the all-time 200 IM performers list. Shortly after, despite not medalling in the IM, Larkin was able to snag 100 back bronze and contribute to the gold medal-winning mixed 400 medley relay. Larkin joined the Cali Condors for the debut ISL season, where he scored 2 individual wins (200 IM), etched his name as a key medley relay member, and contributed to the 3rd-place finish at the ISL finale.
- Lewis Clareburt, New Zealand — After snagging a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 20-year-old Clareburt made history at the 2019 World Championships as New Zealand’s lone medalist. After placing 5th in prelims, Clareburt dropped a 4:12.07 national record to snag bronze behind American Jay Litherland and Japan’s Daiya Seto. According to Swimming New Zealand, Clareburt is the first LC Worlds medalist for his home country in 4 years and the first male medalist since 1994.
All 2019 Men’s Oceanian Records:
- 50 Free (SCM): Kyle Chalmers (AUS), 20.74
- 200 Breast: Matthew Wilson (AUS), 2:06.67
- 200 IM: Mitch Larkin (AUS), 1:55.72
- 800 Free Relay: Lewis, Chalmers, Graham, Horton (AUS), 7:00.85
- Mixed 400 Free Relay: Chalmers, Lewis, McKeon, C. Campbell (AUS), 3:19.97