Smiling assassin Atherton among four Bondies named in World Short Course team  

September 1, 2022

Four Bondies have been named in the Australian team for the World Short Course Swimming championships in Melbourne.

Flynn Southam, Jenna Strauch, Laura Taylor and Minna Atherton were selected for the December event following strong performances in the Australian Short Course Championships in Sydney.

Atherton had a cracking meet, collecting gold in the 50m backstroke and silver in the 200m backstroke. She was the only athlete to swim under 27 seconds to claim the title over WA’s Holly Barratt.   

Bond University’s Director of Swimming Kyle Samuelson said Atherton was in her element.  

“She loves short course, loves training short course, loves racing short course. She had a big smile all week,” he said.  

“She’s a very strong underwater kicker and has some of the world’s best skills.” 

Atherton was only 19 when she became the first woman to break 55-seconds in 100m backstroke when she set a new short course world record of 54.89 in Budapest in 2019. 

She was then considered a medal contender for the Tokyo Olympics, but heartbreakingly failed to qualify.   

“I think getting on the Commonwealth Games team for Birmingham reminded her how good she is and to believe in herself,” said Samuelson.  

The recipient of the Hancock Prospecting Swimming Excellence Scholarship graduated from Bond with a Biomedical Science degree in June.   

Fellow alumna Jenna Strauch collected medals of every colour in Sydney: gold 200m breaststroke, silver 100m breaststroke, bronze 50m breaststroke.  

Mia O’Leary’s highlights include silver in the 100m individual medley and fourth in the 50m breaststroke.  She is currently studying a Bachelor of Business and Social Science. 

FINAL RESULTS SUMMARY: 

Minna Atherton (Aluma):

Gold in the 50m backstroke

Silver in the 200m backstroke 

Bronze in the 100m backstroke 

Jenna Strauch (Alumni):

Gold in the 200 breaststroke 

Silver in the 100 breaststroke 

Bronze in the 50 breaststroke 

Mia O’Leary: 

5th in the 100 breaststroke 

4th in the 50m breaststroke 

Silver medal in the 100 Individual Medley 

6th in the 100 free 

Laura Taylor (Bond student):

Silver in the 200 Fly 

Bronze in the 100 fly 

Ben Armbruster: 

8th in the 100m back 

8th in the 100m fly 

6th in the 50m back