Levy earns spot for Para Pan Pacs

Matthew Levy (right) with his gold medal for winning the men’s multi-class 400 free final. Photo: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd

A TRIO of Jewish swimmers competed in the Australian team trials for the Pan Pacific Championships and Para Pan Pacs in Adelaide last week, all featuring in finals.

The standout performer was North Sydney Paralympian Matthew Levy – a 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist – whose impressive form shows no sign of abating.

The 31-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and a vision impairment, earned a place in the Australian team for what will be his third consecutive Para Pan Pacs, to be held from August 9 in Cairns.

Levy won gold in the men’s 400 free final by 880 multi-class points to 862, in a time of 4:51.25, and followed-up with silver in the 200 individual medley, finishing just four multi-class points behind Timothy Hodge.

“I was proud of my performance,” Levy told The AJN, “and it’s great to put some consistent performances on the board”.

“The goal [now] is to improve on my personal bests and focus on the little things, such as my start and turns.”

After earning a spot in the women’s 100 backstroke B final on July 2 and coming 18th overall, 16-year-old Victorian Ashley Weill made the final of the women’s 200 backstroke two days later.

She came eighth in 2:19.48. Kaylee McKeown, an Australian Dolphins representative, won gold.

Fellow Victorian Benno Negri, 19, swam in three events, his best result being fourth in the B final of the men’s 50 free, finishing in 23.11 seconds. Australia team member James Roberts won the A final in 22.35 seconds.

Negri said it was a valuable learning experience to compete again with swimmers who are world class.

“The more you do it, the more used to that environment you get,” he said.

Negri also represented Victoria at the recent Singapore Championships, contributing to a gold medal win in the 4×100 medley relay and a silver in the 4×100 free relay.

SHANE DESIATNIK