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Patrick Rebakis
Aug 3, 2017

ACU Stars in Budapest at World Championships

Aug 3, 2017 by Patrick Rebakis

ACU Student Mack Horton has won silver in the 400m Freestyle and claimed bronze in the 1500m Freestyle at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary! Horton has put Australia back on the podium for the 1500m for the first time since Grant Hackett retired in 2008. Meanwhile Strathfield Bachelor Exercise Science student Matthew Wilson qualified for the 200m Breastroke Final at his first senior international meet. 

The Australian Dolphins finished the world titles with a total of ten medals, ACU student athlete Mack Horton claimed two of them. Olympic 400m freestyle champion Horton came up against his arch rival Sun Yang in the 400m freestyle final. It was a fierce race with the Chinese Yang finishing 2.47 seconds in front of the Australian. Horton touched the line in 3:43.85 to claim the silver medal while the Italian Gabriele Detti secured the bronze. 

Horton then went on to claim the bronze medal in the 1500m freestyle. After Australia’s nine year break on the podium Horton broke the drought with a strong swim of 14:47.70. While it wasn’t the Bachelor of Commerce student’s best swim, being eight seconds off his 2016 Olympic trial time, it was great for Australia to be back in the running.

Matthew Wilson swam valiantly in the 200m Breastroke at his first senior international carnival. The Strathfield student moved through into the final as the seventh fastest qualifier with a new personal best (PB) of 2:08.64. The 18-year-old is the third Australian ever to hit the sub-2:09 mark for the event with the previous records set in the super-suit era of 2009.


Australia‘s medals included five silver, four bronze and a 200m backstroke gold to defending champion Emily Seebohm. The results are pleasing being the start of an Olympic cycle as the athletes have three years to embark on their next Olympic journey. With most of the Australian swimmers looking to ramp up their training schedules in the lead up to next year’s Commonwealth Games.

ACU’s Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP) Officer, Ceran Nilsen, has praised the swimmers, saying “these student athletes are incredibly resilient and have learned to manage the pressure of combining high performance swimming and studying. Being a student athlete takes the same dedication, resilience and a willingness to succeed as other athletes, however they are also able to take the lessons learned from the strict training and discipline of the pool and apply them to the books. It’s a fantastic combination for life long success and the EAPP is here to support that personal journey.”


The EAPP helps balance the demands of being an athlete or performer with academic pursuits to excel both at university and in their chosen field of sport or performing arts. ACU boasts over 400 student athletes and performers across more than 70 disciplines. Members of the EAPP have access to academic support, early timetabling and financial support, among other sporting or performing arts related opportunities. 

For more information about the program contact ACU’s EAPP Officer, Ceran Nilsen on Ceran.Nilsen@acu.edu.au


Photo credit: Swimming Australia Ltd / Australian Dolphins Swim Team