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Wotto’s a winner

Wotto’s a winner

Winning, that’s what drives eighteen year old swimming sensation, Tom Wotton.

Powering through 5 a.m. training sessions until his body can take no more, has paid off for the Moculta teen who made the Australian Men’s swimming team for the Oceania Swimming Championships in Suva, Fiji, next month.

“This will be my first full Australian swimming team,” Tom said.

“It will be my first time I represent my country which I am just thrilled about…I can’t think of anything better. I just want to go over there and make my country proud and just win!”

His selection comes after outstanding swims at both the Australian Age and Open Championships earlier this year with the humble Nuriootpa High School graduate achieving personal bests in all of his races for competitors aged 17-18 years.

“I do all strokes, 50, 100 and 200 freestyle; the 100 backstroke, the 100 and 200 metre butterfly and the 200 individual medley.

“At the moment, I’m the fastest 200 flyer in Australia for my age group,” Tom said.

The elite swimmer, who overcame surgery for a heart condition in his early teens soon after he began the sport, said his Australian selection is “another step” in the direction he’s keen to go in.

“My overall goal is to be number one in the world in my event which is the 200 fly. That may change to 100 metre freestyle in a couple years’ time because I’m at a young age…When I start to get into my early twenties, that’s when I’ll know what my main event is,” Tom said.

But for now, its all about “the 200 fly”, which Tom said has “good depth” despite its difficulty.

“It’s a really painful event. It’s kind of an event that not many people do in Australia. It’s a really tough race and a lot of people kind of back out of it whereas I kind of like the pain and the real endurance of the race because it gives me more incentive to win,” Tom said.

Whilst he said that might seem “a bit weird” to some, he admits he is his own biggest competitor and that spurs him on.

“For me, if I have a really painful race, then I know that I have tried my best and that’s all I want to do, I just want to do my best.

“It’s the thrill of the race, the competing – pushing myself beyond what I think I can do.”

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.