Swimming Western Australia
Published: Dec 20, 2012 06:25:12 PM Updated: Dec 21, 2012 07:47:19 PM
Previous World Record holder Stephen Donovan has just returned from the 6th World Down Syndrome Swimming Championships in Loano, Italy, held from the 15th_ 23rd November.
This year’s World Championships was the fourth that Donovan has competed at following his multiple gold medal successes in Ireland 2006, Portugal 2008 and Taiwan 2010.
The Australian Team consisting of 24 competitors and a strong coaching staff, including Donovan’s coach Kareena Preston, stayed at the AIS in Varese for a four-day training camp before heading to Loano for Competition.
Donovan won four gold medals in the men’s 200 butterfly, 4x200 freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay and 4x50 m Medley Relay respectively, and one silver in the men’s 400m individual medley.
South Shore coach Kareena Preston regards Donovan’s 200m butterfly as a particularly exciting race. Having miscounted his laps and over-swimming in the heat, Steve was very anxious about entering the final and repeating his morning’s mistake. While stopping at the wall after the 150m mark to check if he had more laps to go, a USA swimmer overtook him and was 15m ahead of Donovan before Preston even told him he had 50m more to swim.
“Steve saw the swimmer from the USA and mowed him down in the last 25m taking Gold with an amazing final stroke!” Preston exclaimed.
The Australian Team won 72 medals in total and claimed the overall team victory ahead of second place-getters Mexico. The 7th World Championships is in Monterrey, Mexico in 2014 where both Donovan and Preston aim to attend.