Gold Coast distance swimmer Maddy Gough smashed the Australian 1500m short-course freestyle record at this month's Short Course Preparation Meet.
The Bond University Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence scholarship student’s 15:38.01 at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre is the eighth fastest in history and took a staggering five seconds off Olympian Jess Ashwood’s 2015 Australian record.
It was the second-fastest swim in the world since 2014.
“I was quite surprised -- I didn’t expect to go that quick and swim that time,” Gough told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“It was an amazing first race back. It’s been a long time since my last race due to COVID-19.
“It was great to get back into racing. I’ve missed it for so long now.”
Gough said she started the race slower than normal but powered home, reflecting the endurance training she had been putting in recently.
The performance continues the meteoric rise of the 21-year-old who finished fifth at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju and won the Australian 5km Open Water Championship at Brighton Beach in January.
Gough’s performance was even more incredible considering it came during an endurance block of training.
The 21-year-old has been swimming 85km a week across 10 sessions in the pool -- while juggling her Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Bond -- as well as three gym sessions and a spin class for good measure.
“(The race) was a really good indicator of where I’m at, but I learned a lot of things about how I can swim it better next time,” she said.
“The dream is still the Olympics, that would be amazing, so everything is working towards that.”
Gough competed at the Gold Coast short-course championships last weekend at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in the 800 and 200m freestyle and the 200m butterfly.