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Isaac Cooper

Isaac Cooper

Age

20

Place of Birth

BUNDABERG, QLD

Hometown

Bundaberg, QLD

Junior Club

Fairymead Swimming Club

Senior Club

St Andrews Swimming Club

Coach

Damien Jones

Olympic History

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

Career Events

Swimming Men's 100m Backstroke

Swimming Mixed 4 x 100m Medley Relay

 

Isaac's Story

Queensland swimmer Isaac Cooper loves to go fast in the pool and his dream is to be the world’s fastest man on water.

“I would love to one day become the fastest man in the world,” he said. “Whether it happens this year or in 10 years.”

Isaac started going fast at the Fairymead Swimming Club in Bundaberg, north of Brisbane, under coaches Paul Simms and Scott Hamlet.

At the 2020 Queensland Short Course Championships, he won his age category in the 50m backstroke in an impressive 24.37 seconds. Not only was this Isaac’s PB time in the 50m backstroke, but also set a new Queensland Age Record, Queensland All Comers Record and Australian Age Record.

At the 2021 UniSport National Swimming Championships, Isaac won the 50m men's backstroke posting a time of 24.69. His time is the third fastest all-time in Australian 50m men's backstroke, sitting just behind national record-holder Ben Treffers and Mitch Larkin.

He went on to compete at the 2021 Australian Olympic Trials, where he earned himself a spot on the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo 2021.

In Tokyo, after he had placed 17th in his individual 100m backstroke swim, he grabbed a bronze as a member of the 4x100m mixed medley relay team. Then, at the Budapest World Championships the following year, he went one better, winning silver in the mixed medley relay team.

At the World Short Course Championships in Melbourne in 2022, Isaac was denied a gold medal in the 50-metre backstroke when the race had to be re-run after a false start wasn’t communicated to the swimmers. Having won the original race in a junior world record time of 22.49 seconds, he finished second in the rescheduled race, taking silver with a time of 22.62.

He went on to achieve a world record and gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay and also won gold in the 4x50m freestyle relay.

In 2023, Isaac made the Australian team for the world championships in Fukuoka, Japan, and later revealed he had made some radical changes to his training regime.

He reduced his pool training from around 80km a week to just 14km, instead spending time surfing, playing tennis and doing mixed martial arts training.

“I’ve been using those [sports] as training sessions, as opposed to coming in and doing the same old four to six [kilometre], eight sessions a week that I’ve been doing since I was seven years old,” he said. 

“The secret to swimming faster is swimming less.” 

At the 2024 world championships in Doha, he won gold in the 50m backstroke, winning the final in a time of 24.13, despite hitting the lane rope several times during the race.

He explained he was disoriented by the curved roof of the aquatic centre and had struggled to swim straight.

“I told my coach I would love a go at going under 24 tonight, but I whacked my finger a couple of times … the roof is curved … so it was a bit of a mind game to swim straight,” Isaac said.

The 50m backstroke is not on the program for the Paris Olympics, so after Doha Isaac immediately switched his focus to the 100m backstroke and the 50m freestyle.

“My goal is to now focus on 100 back – and the 50m free. And now I know my front-end speed is there, I have to hold my speed and learn how to turn around and come back,” he said.

He claimed victory in the 100m backstroke at the Australian Olympic trials in Brisbane in June, in a time of 53.46. He finished third in the 50m freestyle.

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