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Swimmers set standard with stunning medal haul

Posted: 09-Jul-2019 by PanAm Games 2019

One day of swimming. SIX medals. The bar has been set.

A magical start in the pool has opened Australia’s medal tally at the Maccabi Pan-American Games in astonishing fashion. On the first day of their program, our swimmers were exceptionally dominant across the board, blitzing the field in the process.

Gabi Goodridge became the first Aussie to claim a medal in Mexico as she powered home to win silver in the 100m freestyle in a time of 1:01.30. Just minutes later, Zak Levine struck gold in the same event, swimming a strong 57.33.

Jade Berson, Zak Levine and Gabi Goodridge show off their medals!

The monster 15-year-old said the victory was ‘probably one of my highest achievements’ and confidently revealed he fully expected to have a medal around his neck soon after touching the wall.

But perhaps most impressive was a silver medal-winning performance from Jade Berson in the 200m backstroke. Berson touched in at 2:46.25 in what was supposed to be the weaker of the two heats, and it was enough to secure her spot on the podium.

Amazingly, the newly 16-year-old had never swum the event competitively before.

“Yeah, I’ve never done it before, it was so much fun actually,” Berson said.

“I was just like I’ll give it a go and have a crack and I just really enjoyed it and gave it all I had.”

“It was the most amazing feeling. There are no words to describe how amazing it is. Very unexpected.”

Gabi and Daniella Goodridge celebrate their silver medals together

It appears the Emanuel School student may have found herself a new event.

Elsewhere, masters star – and Aussie team captain – Barry Carp defied a stomach bug that had prevented him from getting any sleep the night before to clinch a gold medal in his own 100m freestyle race. Carp then jetted off to watch his son play basketball while still in full costume, including cap and goggles, before giving his medal away to Team Aus general manager Sam Gamsu.

Some story.

And there was more joy to come for the Carp clan as Barry’s niece Asia landed a reward for plenty of hard work, snaring a bronze medal in the 800m freestyle with a time of 10:47.02.

Asia Carp with her bronze medal

The family feel-good stories continued as Daniella Goodridge enjoyed a special moment with daughter Gabi after landing her own 100m freestyle silver medal in a time of 1:13.64. Both Goodridges celebrated their achievements together in a seriously special moment.

Dad Anthony, who coaches the squad, was proud of his charges and is forecasting further success in the coming days. Keep your eyes on the pool.