Josh Chapman on top of the medal dais at the NSW Open Championships.
Josh Chapman on top of the medal dais at the NSW Open Championships.

Josh wins NSW championship gold

COFFS Harbour Swimming Club member Josh Chapman has turned in a series of astonishing swims at the NSW Open Championships.

A hearing-impaired athlete and prolific winner from the moment he first dipped his toe in water, Josh competed in the multi-classification events and won a gold medal in the men’s 200m individual medley with a time of 2:25.76.

Backing up in the evening, he swam in the 50m freestyle final, but tired to finish ninth, still in personal best time of 26.95 seconds.

Four events were scheduled on the final day.

Josh swam in the 100m butterfly with a time of 1:09.31, finished 10th in the 400m freestyle in 4:35.66, eighth in the 100m backstroke in 1:08.04 and eighth in the 100m freestyle with a time of 58.62.

Swimming Mid North Coast president Faye Rowles said Josh collected his gold medal with a fantastic performance.

“The multi-classification events are all the different classes swum together and is calculated by the closest swimmer to their world record for their classification,” she explained.

“This is an excellent result for Joshua to swim such good times and, in fact, each swim was a personal best.”

Rowles attended the swim meet and with the sport currently undergoing a renaissance in interest – thanks to the proliferation of high-profile comebacks – was happy to give her thoughts on the national situation.

“We saw most of the big names in attendance at these titles, including Stephanie Rice coming back from injury,” she remarked.

“On paper the future of Australian swimming is looking good, but I must caution the public against setting their expectations too high, especially in the case of Ian Thorpe, who after so many years away, still has to get competition-fit and prove he is still up to the current standard.”

Rowles also feels records will not be broken as frequently as in the past.

“Now that the skins swimming suits are no longer allowed there’ll be a big change,” she added.

“Maybe allowing them in the first place wasn’t a smart move and we are still to see the long-term fall-out.”



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