21-year old Nepean Aquatic Centre lifeguard Matthew Galea has returned from the #2023 TYR Pro Swimming Championships in the USA with four Gold Medals, winning the 400m Freestyle, the 800m Freestyle, the 1,500m Freestyle and as a member of the 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay.
Matthew was chosen by Swimming Australia to compete in the Australia A team at the Championships, which were held in Irvine, California from 26 to 29 July.
The team, made up of experienced Australian representatives and athletes who are in contention to challenge for a position at next year’s Paris Olympics, spent a week together in Laguna Hills, California for a staging .camp, prior to shifting their attention to the Championships.
Swimming Australia General Manager Performance Pathways and Team Lead for the tour, Gary Barclay said “Providing international racing opportunities for this group of athletes is a key to ensure continued upward pressure for places in the Paris Olympic team.
“The quality of US swimmers competing at these Championships is very high and this will enable our Australian swimmers to gain further experience travelling and competing one year out from the main game (Paris).”
Matthew expressed his delight at his 1,500m swim, in particular, where he not only broke the 15-minute mark but also recorded the 10th-fastest time in history by an Australian swimmer.
Now just 2.5 seconds outside the Paris Olympic Games qualifying time, Matthew will be looking to shave at least that margin, if not more, at a number of upcoming events over the next 10 months, beginning with the Japan Open in November, followed by the NSW Swimming Championships and QLD Swimming Championships – both in December.
Matthew will then be hoping to win selection for the World Championships in Doha in February, which are followed by the Australian Nationals in April and the Paris Trials in June.
His training schedule with the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Club (SOPAC) currently features 9 pool sessions per week, along with 3 gym sessions, 2 core sessions and 1 cardio session, around which he has to fit in his lifeguard activities at the Nepean Aquatic Centre.
Swimming took on an added dimension for Matthew in 2021, during the second Covid lockdown, when he attended an NSWIS camp over 7 weeks, linking up with his current coach Adam Kable. That partnership has not only changed Matthew’s approach and results in the pool, but Adam has also become a life coach and confidant.
In regards to Paris, Matthew will be targeting three distances, where he is currently within seconds of the Paris qualifying times. On recent performances, he is 2.5 seconds outside the 1,500m qualifying time, 4 seconds outside the 800m time and 2 seconds outside the 400m time.
Matthew is currently self-funding (along with family) his swimming journey and is actively looking for sponsors who may wish to support him financially. If you would like to sponsor Matthew, his Instagram tag is matthew.galea16.
# USA Swimming has re-named the end-of-summer US National Championships to the “TYR Pro Championships”.