Abood continues winning streak
MATTHEW Abood's year is moving along swimmingly and today he is sure to arrive home to a hero's welcome.
The former Kingscliff Swimming Club member flies back to the Tweed Coast today after starring at the Australian Swimming Championships at the weekend.
Abood cemented his place on the Australian team to contest the World Championships in July with a stunning victory over world-record holder Eamon Sullivan in the 50m freestyle final on Sunday.
“I was really happy to win but more so to make the Australian squad,” Abood said.
“Mum and Dad came down to watch so it was great to share that moment with them.
“It was a great achievement but I'm also happy that Eamon got through because we're good mates and live together.”
With a personal best time of 49 seconds, Abood also qualified for the men's 4x100m relay team.
And now he will have plenty of coin to spend on his travels following a remarkable performance in the $100,000 Telstra Skins at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on Tuesday night.
The 22-year-old pocketed $5300 after again accounting for NSW Institute of Sport training partner Sullivan in his pet event ...twice.
“It was good to back up my performances over the weekend with fast swims on Tuesday,” Abood said.
“I like to pride myself on swimming consistently fast and want to be able to swim at top level whenever I need to.”
Abood's first victory came in the opening leg of the tactical 3x50m Skins, but the national champion's highlight occurred when he returned to the pool later that evening for the highest paid race of the meet, the men's 50m “Dash for Cash.”
Looking notably fresher than his more recognised rivals, the new sprint star took out the $4000 purse comfortably in a time of 22.21sec.
“My training regime is intense and every day my body is put to the test,” Abood said. But I've become physically and mentally tougher.”
Abood credits his success to the time spent under renowned coaches Greg Salter and Lea Speechley at home in Kingscliff, as well as the efforts of NSWIS coach Grant Stoelwinder.
“Greg and Lea have taught me so much over the years,” he said.
“Grant has really helped with my race plans in the four months I've been there and I think I'm making great progress.”
Abood plans to enjoy a week out of the water before training for the world championships commences.