Six Western Australian Swimmers Selected for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

Swimming | Published: Sun 4 March 2018

Six Western Australian swimmers have earned selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games after Swimming Australia announced its 70-member squad following the conclusion of the selection trials held on the Gold Coast.


Para-swimmerKatherine Downie (Glasgow 2014) and Blair Evans (Delhi 2010) will both compete at a second career Commonwealth Games, whilst for Zac Incerti,Brianna Throssell, Holly Barratt and George Harley, the Gold Coast will be a Games debut.


Downie won a silver medal in the 200m Individual Medley (SM10) in Scotland four years ago and it is in this event that the 22 year-old Architecture student will again focus.


The City of Perth swimmer secured her berth with a win in Wednesday’s final and she adds to an impressive career that boasts representation at Paralympic and IPC World Championship level. The Quinns Rocks resident has medalled at all peak competition levels.


Evans ends an eight year wait between Commonwealth Games, with the 26 year-old having enjoyed an injury-free preparation for the selection trials that saw her win gold in both the 200m and 400m IM finals.


She was a gold medallist in Delhi as a member of the Australian women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team, whilst she also swam in finals of the 200m and 800m freestyle and 400m IM.


Zac Incerti won a first career national title on the Gold Coast when he claimed victory in the men’s 50m backstroke final. His win earned him a berth on the Australian team and puts him in contention to also swim in Australia’s red-hot men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team. Incerti was sixth in the 100m free final on Thursday night.


The Broome product made his first senior Australian team at last year’s FINA World Championships in Budapest, where he swam in the relay and also competed in the 100m back.


Incerti’s UWA-West Coast training partner Brianna Throssell enjoyed an outstanding campaign on the Gold Coast, setting new personal bests in both the 100m free and 100m fly.


Throssell will compete in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team that is favourite for gold and she will likely add the 200m fly to her competition roster along with the two-lap swim, that she finished second in at trials, behind Emma McKeon.


At 22, Throssell is one of the sport’s rising stars and she will add Commonwealth representation to appearances at the 2017 FINA World Championships and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.


Holly Barratt took second place behind Emily Seebohm in the final of the women’s 50m backstroke, to add to an earlier silver medal in the 50m fly.


The 30 year-old Rockingham Swimming Club member made history in 2017, when she became the oldest ever rookie on an Australian senior swim team.


Barratt is likely to have a busy competition schedule, with swims across backstroke and butterfly also potentially combined with a relay swim in the women’s 4x100m medley.


19 year-old debutant George Harley collected bronze in the final of the men’s 200m breaststroke and will compete in the event along with national champion Matthew Wilson.


He trains alongside Evans under coach Bud McAllister at the Craigie Leisure Centre and is regarded as one of the country’s brightest young breaststroke talents.


Harley nearly lost his leg in 2012 following an accident on a motorised buggy on a property in Lancelin which required him to be airlifted to Princess Margaret Hospital. He suffered multiple fractures and nearly bled to death. He was in a wheelchair for six months post-accident, unsure if he would ever swim again.


When he makes his Commonwealth debut in April, his story will resonate as one of the more remarkable journeys to the start line.