Sam Short from Rackley Swimming Club Makes a Splash, Secures Olympic Spot Despite Illness

Sam Short in Paris Olympics 2024

Sam Short, the 20-year-old Bunya swimming sensation from Rackley Swimming Club, has cemented his place on the Australian Olympic team for Paris, despite a recent battle with a gastric illness. 

Photo Credit: Sam Short/ Instagram

Short, who burst onto the international scene at the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, showcased his middle- and long-distance prowess by claiming medals in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle events. His gold medal in the 400m freestyle was particularly noteworthy, coming within a hair’s breadth of breaking Ian Thorpe’s long-standing Australian record.

But Short’s ambitions extend beyond personal bests and national records. He has his sights set on a showdown with Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, a three-time Olympic gold medalist who is eligible to return to competition after serving a four-year doping suspension. Short, who views Sun as a “villain” in the swimming world, is confident he can defeat the 32-year-old veteran in Paris.

From Rising Star to Olympic Hopeful

Photo Credit: Sam Short/ Instagram

Short’s journey to the Olympics has been nothing short of remarkable. After narrowly missing the team for the Tokyo Olympics, he made his mark with a silver medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay at the 2022 World Championships. He then continued his ascent at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, seizing gold in the 1500m and silver in the 400m.

Sun, on the other hand, has a long and controversial history in the sport. Despite his significant success, which includes numerous Olympic and world titles, doping allegations and suspensions have tarnished his career.

A Setback and a Strategic Decision

Photo Credit: Sam Short/ Instagram

Despite his recent illness, which saw him lose a significant amount of weight and strength, Short secured his Olympic qualification by finishing second in both the 400m and 800m freestyle events at the Australian trials. However, he and his coach, Damien Jones, decided to withdraw from the 1500-metre freestyle to prioritise his health and recovery.

The Road to Paris

Photo Credit: Sam Short/ Instagram

Confident in Short’s abilities and preparation leading up to the illness, Jones is optimistic about his chances in Paris. He believes that the focus now shifts to ensuring Short is back to full health and peak performance for the Games.

Published Date 09-July-2024