When the Australian roster for the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships was revealed, there were some heads scratched when Flynn Southam‘s name was not in the lineup.
With his 100m and 200m free finishes, the Bond teen would have been in line to be named on the Budapest roster for relays; however, Southam only appeared on the Aussie contingent for the Commonwealth Games.
16-year-old Southam held his own against his older compatriots at the just-concluded Australian Swimming Championships, finishing 4th in the 200m freestyle with a time of 1:46.82, 3rd in the 100m free in 48.76 and 4th in the 50m free in 22.39. The former two were just off personal bests while the latter marked a new career-quickest effort.
After the Aussie rosters were revealed for Budapest and Birmingham, Southam confirmed via social media his reasoning for not heading to Worlds, saying he would instead have eyes on the Junior Pan Pacific Championships.
“Qualifying for Worlds and Commonwealth Games and being able to represent Australia at one of the biggest sporting stages in the world has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. It’s now a privilege to be able to do it now, as just a 16-year-old. It’s a responsibility now to hold up my end of the deal and perform the best I possibly can at the games. The decision to not go to worlds and focus on gaining more experience at the Junior Pan Pacs was made to help my long-term development and experience come Paris 2024.”
This year’s Junior Pan Pacs are scheduled for August 24th – 27th in Hawaii, while the swimming portion of the Commonwealth Games is on the agenda for July 29th – August 3rd.
Cartwright placed 4th in the 100m free (49.04) after hitting a prelims mark of 48.66. He is a tripe medalist from the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships and also earned a gold medal in the men’s 4x100m free relay at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.