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Anthony • 15 mins
By Joshua Papanikolaou (PSG Staff)
Victorian swimmer Brendon Smith took almost a minute off his 1500m personal best at the 2017 Pacific School Games while claiming gold in the 17 years and under competition in Adelaide.
The 17-year-old who competes for Nunawading Swim Club touched the wall in 15 minutes 56.89 seconds, a few body lengths in front of defending champion Jesse Goodyear from New South Wales.
“It’s pretty painful and I don’t enjoy it too much but I’m pretty good at it and it’s pretty satisfying at the end,” Smith said of the gruelling event.
“I’ll go back to my coach and we might enter in the open nationals and do the 1500m there and hopefully I can get the world junior qualifying time, which is about 30 seconds quicker than what I did today.
“I was really happy with that today, a big PB by nearly a minute, but I obviously haven’t done many.
I’ve just got to try and get close to the short course time.”
Smith climbed out of the pool at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre with a big grin as a large group of his teammates ran down to pool deck cheering his name after the come-from-behind victory.
Goodyear had won the race for his age group at the Games two years ago and was in front by about a body length with 300m to go, seemingly in control of the race.
“With about 100m to go I had edged myself level and then I maxed it out the last 100m, it hurt, but I had saved my legs a bit, which pushed me through the last 100m,” Smith explained.
Smith has developed quickly in the longer event having previously preferred to race over 400m and compete in relay events before his coach decided it was time for him to step up in distance.
“I started last long course season not doing much 1500m work but then did one in the short course and went alright,” he said.
“So I went and did a lot of training for it, then I made the state team, which was in Canberra about two months ago and I won that and have built on that.
“I look up to a few guys I train with at MSAC (Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre), they’re really quick and they push me along.”