Sam Short Overtakes Decades-Old Kieren Perkins 800 Free Age Record


  • April 7th – April 12th
  • Prelims at 9am local/Finals 6pm local
  • Gold Coast Swimming & Aquatic Centre
  • Non-Olympic Qualifying Event, but impacts junior selection for int’l meets
  • Live Results

In addition to a new 50m free Australian age record established at the hands of 15-year-old Flynn Southam, another age mark went down in the 800m free.

Competing in the 17-year-old age category, Rackley swimmer Samuel Short busted out the fastest 8free swim of his life, clocking a time of 7:52.18. Doubling up on his 200m free victory from earlier in the meet, Short’s impressive outing in this longer event overtook a historic record, shaving .75 off of Olympic medalist Kieren Perkins‘ All Comers Record put on the books way back in 1991.

This feat wasn’t lost on teen Short, who said post-race, “It feels pretty amazing – I’ve looked up to him (Perkins) my whole life.

“He’s ‘the man’ of the sport for distance swimming in Australia and he was the first for a lot of things, it’s an honour really.

“Leading into trials I’ll have a lot of competition in the 800m. At the back end of the 400m I need to kind of hang tough really and need to work on coming back harder. I went out hard but kind of fell off towards the backend, but you live, and you learn.”

Entering this meet, Short’s personal best rested at the 7:56.59 the teen posted at December’s Queensland Championships. As such, Short managed to black that to bits, hacking more than 4 seconds off to set the new age record.

For additional perspective, Short’s 7:52.18 would rank him as the 4th fastest 17-AND-18-year-old in U.S. history, listed above the likes of True Sweetser (7:53.32), Andrew Abruzzo (7:54.51) and Tom Dolan (7:56.33).

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Great swim. But is only the all comers record.

Three other 17 yo aussies have been quicker.

Hackett. Neill and Horton with a7.45.

Can see him taking more time off to challenge those at trials.

Coach Nico
1 year ago

We recently had his former Coach, Richard Sleight (now at St Peters Western Swim Club), on our Podcast. During this episode he was talking about some of the training of Sam Short. You can find it at

1 year ago

That is qwik

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.

Read More »