August 4, 2022
Commonwealth Games gold medalist Flynn Southam will team up with Bull Sharks head coach Chris Mooney for his next international assault mission at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Hawaii.
The 17-year-old easily coped with the pressure and anticipation of his first major overseas encounter, winning two gold medals in Birmingham and will now test his speed against the next generation of swimming superstars to come from America.
Southam collected his shiny souvenirs in the 4x100m and 4x200m relay, the latter alongside good mate and Bond University Bachelor of Business student Elijah Winnington.
Mooney said the youngest member of the Dolphins team kept a cool head during his first major international event.
“He had a 50-hour journey to get to the muster camp in Europe, so that was a good opportunity for him to work through all the unforeseen setbacks that can sometimes happen when you’re on your way to an important meeting,” Mooney said.
“He was aware of a little bit of pressure creeping in and he also had to deal with the nerves and the process of being in the spotlight of the world for the first time, but I really felt he was comfortable with it.”
Southam will arrive at the Gold Coast over the weekend before returning to the Bond pool on Monday to prepare for the Junior Pac Pacs which will start in three weeks.
Mooney will lead Australia’s campaign.
“We just finished racing in the Commonwealth countries and now we can race with the best Americans in Flynn’s age group, and the US has put together a really great team,” he said.
The event in Honolulu also qualifies for the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Melbourne in December.
“Flynn doesn’t get carried away, but I think all the hard work and sacrifices he’s made mean that he can now get a nice reward from racing,” Mooney said.
“And the whole process of traveling with the team and having great support from world-class athletes is like having a second family.”
Southam has already declared that he will be “one of the best swimmers in the world” at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
“I like to hunt, I always like to think of the analogy of a lion,” Southam said.
“Even though they’re at the top of the food chain, they don’t want their prey delivered on a silver platter, they still love the hunt.”