Pain barrier fails to stop state titles swim
SWIMMING: Bundaberg's Isaac Cooper is one tough teenager.
The Fairymead swimmer will defy logic and injury this week to compete in the state titles starting today in Brisbane.
The 13-year-old will compete in four events with a torn meniscus and bone and cartilage degradation on the patella.
As soon as he finishes the event, Cooper will go in for surgery.
"It's been affecting my training, I haven't been able to kick or push off the wall or do butterfly,” he revealed before the event.
"I've been backing off on other sports and I've been focusing on my swimming, which has been a big help. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get through them all.”
Cooper will do that while fighting plenty of pain.
"I've gotten used to it,” he said. "If I can do well at the states and medal I will be really happy because I've had this injury for a couple of months.”
Cooper aims to get gold in all of his backstroke events and place in the rest.
But he will be assessed rigorously by his coach Paul Simms.
"His injury is such that we are trying not to aggravate it,” Simms said. "If it aggravates and we see him limp around, we will just pull him out.”
Fairymead will send 13 athletes including Cooper to the state titles with Simms excited for the week ahead.
"The usual suspects are there,” he said. "If you keep a close eye on Toby Street, I reckon he'll turn some heads.”
Street said he was confident of doing well despite being sick recently with a cold.
"I'm trying to make a final for states in the 200m individual medley,” he said. "The aim will also be trying to make national times as well.”
Joining Street will be Hayley Perry and Murray Macpherson. Perry said she was hoping to land a couple of personal best times and make some finals while Macpherson was looking forward to competing in the 1500m freestyle in his second state titles.
The duo will be joined by Connor Simms, Jaime Krueger, Jordan Smith and Macson Cottle, who finished competing in the Pacific Games earlier this week.
The state titles begin today at 9.30am.