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The boy from Broome, Aussie young gun Zac Incerti is making waves after just 3 years of competitive swimming
As opinions over the performance of the Aussie team in the Rio pool continue to be aired, we decided to take a look at some of the promising young swimmers that Aussie swimwear brands Funky Trunks and Funkita are supporting on their Tokyo 2020 quest. Here’s three of the next generation of Aussie swimmers to look out for.
With a Phelps-like wingspan of 80 inches stretching beyond his 6’2” frame, 19-year-old Aussie Zac Incerti has just three years of competitive swimming under his belt but is already making waves. At his first national meet he was selected for the Australian team to compete at the Oceania Championships in Fiji. His time of 54.19 in the 100m backstroke placed him inside Australia’s top 10 all-time fastest, and would have placed him 15th overall in Rio. At Oceania he blitzed the field winning both the 50m and 100m backstroke.
The Boy from Broome as he is known, grew up in remote northern Western Australia, and despite spending a lot of his time in the water only started competitive swimming as a 16 year old.
“The pool I trained in at Broome was a very simple outdoor eight lane 25 metre pool and I loved it,” he says.
He was spotted by UWA West Coast coach Michael Palfery at a country swimming championships and was offered a place in his squad. He moved to Perth in 2014 with little training behind him, but his new training regime saw his times tumbling.
“It was awesome to be given an opportunity to train at such great facilities with the UWA West Coast Swim Club. I’ve always loved to swim but never really thought I could go anywhere with it until Michael asked me to join his squad. He has a lot of faith in me and our young squad and I really enjoy training there. The hours are longer and sessions are harder but it’s worth it.”
Incerti has the physical attributes and displays a relaxed, confident mentality around pool deck that has certainly got people talking.
“I felt very accomplished with my swim at the Australian Championships. My time was very special and made me realise that I can kick it with the best in Australia,” Incerti says.
There’s no doubt we’ll be hearing more about the Boy from Broome.
Aussie sprinter 17-year-old Shayna Jack was just 0.71 seconds away from making her first Australian Olympic team after smashing out a blistering 24.95 in the 50m freestyle behind Cate and Bronte Campbell at the Australian Championships.
“I was very happy and relieved with my results at the Australian Open Championships. I’ve been struggling to show any signs of improvement until this year. It gave me a sign of hope and achievement to continue my positive focus on making the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” Jack says.
At the US Open, Shayna powered to a gold medal win in the 50m freestyle with a time of 25.13. She took home a second gold in the 100m freestyle after swimming an impressive 54.37.
“The 50m and 100m have always been my favourite events. They are the most adrenaline pumping and I love a quick sprint,” she says.
Jack’s next goal is to make the senior Australian team next year as a stepping stone towards the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. She has to emerge from the giant shadow of the Campbell sisters but all signs are pointing in the right direction.
Sian Whittaker narrowly missed the Australian team for Rio in the 200m backstroke finishing third to Belinda Hocking and Emily Seebohm. Easy to say without the pressure of an Olympic final, but if 19-year-old Sian had swum her Olympic Trials time of 2:07.47 in Rio, she would have been on the podium with an Olympic bronze medal.
“This year’s Australian Championships was by far my most successful and I was extremely proud of my achievements throughout that week. A massive personal best, a bronze in the 200m backstroke and only marginally missing the Olympic team was way beyond my expectations and I couldn’t be prouder,” Sian says.
Sian recently returned from the US Open as part of the Swimming Australia team where she won the 200m backstroke in 2:08.64. She was excited by the win and can’t wait to push herself further.
“My focus for the next 12 months is to make the Australian Dolphins team. The World Short Course and World Long Course Championships are my main goals, as well as improving on my results from this year’s Australian Championships,” she says.
Sian’s love for swimming is clear when you sit down and chat with the bubbly Victorian and her determination to succeed will make her one to watch for the future.
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