Retribution is driving Coffs Harbour's golden girl
SWIMMING: When your dreams are dashed by something out of your control, it hurts. A lot.
Just ask Maddy Gough.
Last year Gough qualified for the World Short Course Swimming Championships in China, only to have her meet come to and end before it began due to food poisoning.
The scars from that shattering trip to east Asia have moulded Gough into an incredibly resilient athlete, which has been reflected in her 2019 form.
Last week at the Australian World Swimming Trials in Brisbane, Gough harnessed her painful memories to blitz the field in the 1500m freestyle final.
The 20-year-old recorded a time of 15.56.39 to win the gold medal and smash her personal best by two seconds.
To put Gough's swim into perspective, it's the second fastest time ever by an Australian woman over 1500m.
As a result, the former Bishop Druitt College student has now booked her plane ticket the World Championships in South Korea.
"After I couldn't swim at the Short Course Championships I trained really hard so I could redeem myself,” Gough said.
"I was hoping to swim a PB at the trials but I didn't think I'd get it down to what I did.”
The TSS Aquatic team member has dropped her time over the 1500m drastically in 2019.
Now she's hoping to drop it even further and get on the podium in Gwangju.
"That's the goal. I think it's going to be hard to achieve but it's something I'm working towards,” Gough said.
"Hopefully I can make the final and go from there.”
Gough is part of a 27 strong Australian Dolphins team which will soon fly off to a training camp in in Cairns, and then Japan, before heading to South Korea.
The World Championships are being held from July 21-28.