2021 Swammy Awards: Oceanic Male Swimmer Of The Year, Zac Stubblety-Cook

To see all of our 2021 Swammy Awards, click here.

2021 OCEANIAN MALE SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: ZAC STUBBLETY-COOK (AUS)

For the third consecutive year, an Australian breaststroker has been awarded our Swammy for the Oceanian Male Swimmer of the Year. In 2019 and 2020, it was Matt Wilson, but this time around it’s Zac Stubblety-Cook‘s turn to take the spotlight.

The 22-year-old Stubblety-Cook wowed the world when he soared to the top of the men’s 200m breaststroke podium at this summer’s Olympic Games. The ace fired off a super quick time of 2:06.38 to establish a new Olympic Record en route to clocking the only result under the 2:07 threshold in the Tokyo final.

But his performance was not a one-off stunner. Just weeks earlier, ‘ZSC’ put the world on notice at the Australian Olympic Trials, posting a monster 2:06.28 to come within .16 of Russian Anton Chupkov’s world record.

That lifetime best wound up breaking the Aussie, All Comer, Oceanic and Commonwealth records while rendering the Chandler athlete as the second-fastest man of all time.

Stubblety-Cook had shown flashes of brilliance in the past, including winning bronze in the men’s 200 breast at the 2017 World Juniors and silver in the event at the 2018 Pan Pacs, and then finished just off the podium in fourth at his World Championship debut in 2019. But in 2021, he leveled up and staked his claim as one of the best male breaststrokers in the world.

Flash forward to the Queensland Championships just earlier this month and Stubblety-Cook did it again, logging an impressive post-Tokyo outing of 2:07.00. That ties his second-best performance ever, a time that still would’ve taken gold at the Games.

Honorable Mention

  • Kyle Chalmers (AUS) – Chalmers once again landed on the men’s 100m freestyle podium at an Olympic Games, only instead of his gold from Rio it was silver this time in Tokyo. However, the 23-year-old Aussie, who underwent several heart surgeries and shoulder surgery since 2016, warriored on to produce a new World Record in the men’s short course meters 100 freestyle. While competing on the 2021 FINA World Cup circuit, the South Aussie scored an other-worldly 44.84 to overtake the longstanding 44.94 WR Frenchman Amaury Leveaux put on the books over a decade ago in 2008.

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Ghost
1 year ago

I want him to make me a cup of his favorite coffee!

Ray Loose
1 year ago

We’re talking about breaststroke? Not freestyle, Breastroke? Not butterfly but breastroke? Come on..

PhillyMark
Reply to  Ray Loose
1 year ago

I mean freestyle is supposed to be the best stroke and we’re in hear talking about breaststroke. I mean, listen, we’re in hear talking about breaststroke. Not freestyle, not freestyle, not freestyle. We’re talking about breaststroke. Not freestyle…the stroke I die for and swim every lap like it’s my last.

belle
1 year ago

Well deserved.

Joel
1 year ago
Last edited 1 year ago by Joel
Troyy
Reply to  Joel
1 year ago

I just tried posting the links but they got caught in mod queue. It’s been reported in the Canberra Times and the Illawarra Mercury so just google it.

Joel
Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Thanks. I’d tried but I don’t know how I missed it.

Robbos
1 year ago

Very good swimmer, just goes & does his job in the last 50 metres.

Sub13
1 year ago

Yay for ZSC. Sad that there was only one honourable mention. Hopefully the Aussie men can step it up with some great looking youngsters coming through.

Joel
Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

Tom Neill with the fastest split in the 4x 200 and a 9th in the 200 looks promising. He’s only 19. And Isaac Cooper only 17 for the backstroke sprints. Plus a few others 👍🏼

Dee
Reply to  Joel
1 year ago

Fastest in the field or fastest Aussie? I can’t remember what Neill split, but I can’t imagine he was faster than Scott’s 1.43.4? Agree on Cooper (and Edwards-Smith), big talent.

Robbos
Reply to  Dee
1 year ago

Fastest Aussie, no-one went near Scott’s 1.43.4. He so deserved an Individual gold, great swimmer Duncan Scott.

Troyy
Reply to  Joel
1 year ago

Hopefully Cooper continues to drop time in the 100 free as well because Chalmers really needs some reliable team mates. Anyone know if McEvoy is retiring?

commonwombat
Reply to  Sub13
1 year ago

ZSC’s gold was, probably, the deciding factor as Chalmers was a relay monster in Tokyo, being the leg that elevated the 4×100 onto the podium and almost onto the 4XMED one.

My other candidates for Honourable Mentions would be:

  • Smith. Unexpected bronze in 400IM. Granted it proved a slower than expected race but he was fastest qualifier and pulled out a monster final 100 to get onto the podium
  • McLoughlin. Could be argued that he didn’t bring his A game to Tokyo and he WAS disappointing in 800/1500 but he did go out and “make the race” in 400 final and was only pipped in the last couple of strokes
  • Clairburt. Missed the podium in 400IM but was 2nd
… Read more »

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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