CHASING A DREAM: Gympie swimmer Troy Carlson on his way to winning gold in the 100m butterfly at the recent Australian championships in South Australia.
CHASING A DREAM: Gympie swimmer Troy Carlson on his way to winning gold in the 100m butterfly at the recent Australian championships in South Australia. Buster Sykes/Medal Shots

Superstar Gympie swimmer becomes Australian champion

SWIMMING: Gympie swimming superstar Troy Carlson has added yet another accolade to an impressive career record in being named national champion at the recent Australian Age Championships in South Australia.

The 16-year-old was awarded the gold medal out of 10 racers in the Boys 16 years 100m butterfly event on April 19, after finishing with the second fastest time in the final, beaten only by a visiting New Zealander Kalani Skipps.

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Carlson was the fastest overall swimmer at the championships, combining a 56.46s qualifying time with 55.87s in the final for a total of 112.33s, 0.15 seconds ahead of Skipps.

Though proud of his achievement, a modest Carlson seemed focused on what he could improve post-tournament.

"It feels really good to be an Australian champion in the 100mbButterfly. Initially I had a good feeling about this race but I didn't get a great turn so I was worried about the impact of that on the final time,” Carlson said.

"I wanted to go a bit faster than my time of 55.87. I'm having a break for two weeks and then it's back into the pool to train for Queensland Short Course in August. I might have a go at the World Trials (in Brisbane) in June but I'll have to see how my training's going then.”

He said he wanted to thank Dr Todd at Cooloola Family Chiropratic for his support this year.

A future of uncapped potential awaits Carlson, but not without a staggering training regime he faces every day.

He travels to Sunshine Coast Grammar School with his mother Rachael and other family members for nine two-hour training sessions per week under coach Luke Stafford.

Rachael said the family had gone to great lengths to manage Troy's exhausting regimen, and was immensely proud of his achievements.

"It's absolutely amazing, we're thrilled for him,” she said. "It's a huge effort on all of our part to manage training; we've actually bought a unit down there and stay some nights to manage it.

"It's a massive commitment and I don't think we would have gone ahead if we didn't think Troy was capable. We're really, really pleased for him.”

Carlson claimed silver in the 200m butterfly at last year's championships in Sydney, smashing his personal record in the process.