Event: 200m Butterfly
Olympic History: Tokyo 2020 (bronze)
Highlights: Bronze medal at Tokyo 2020. 6th at the 2019 World Championships, equal 1st World Championship Trials
Club: Nunawading Swim Club
Year Born: 1999
State Born: VIC
In the space of barely 16 months, Matthew has emerged as a swimmer of real substance in the Dolphins team, amassing 13 international medals, including four golds.
Temple, from the powerful Nunawading club, only competed at his first Victorian state titles at the age of 15 but he quickly caught the eye. An Australian age title in the 100m butterfly followed in 2018 but perhaps even more noteworthy was the fact that he placed fifth in open competition at the Commonwealth Games selection trials later that year.
2019 was to be his breakout year, as he surged into the Dolphins team for the Gwangju world championships team and placed sixth in the 100m butterfly. On the strength of that swim, he was chosen to swim the heats of the 4x100m medley relay, qualifying Australia. Though he did not swim in the final, he still earned his first international gold as a member of the relay team.
At the Olympic trials in Adelaide, Mathew took out the 100m butterfly title in a time of 51.83sec, with no other swimmer breaking 52sec. He also won the 200m butterfly and then sneaked under the qualifying time by the smallest possible margin, .01sec, to join defending champion Kyle Chalmers in the 100m freestyle. He clocked 48.32sec to Chalmers’ 47.59sec, with Cam McEvoy third in 48.49sec.
The selectors would opt for McEvoy to swim as Australia’s second entrant in the 100m freestyle in Tokyo but that allowed Matthew to devote himself entirely to his 100m butterfly.
There he made an astonishing breakthrough, taking almost a full second off his trials time to place fifth in 50.92sec. American superstar Caeleb Dressel established a new world record for the event with a stunning 49.45sec swim, marginally ahead of Hungary’s Kristof Milak, but Matthew - on Olympic debut in one of the hottest events on the program - finished only .18sec away from bronze.
He would claim two relay bronzes at the Olympics, in the 4x100m freestyle relay, where he led off in a personal best time of 48.07sec, while he teamed up with Kaylee McKeown, Emma McKeon and Zac Stubblety-Cook to finish third in the 4x100m mixed medley relay.
His outstanding performances in Tokyo catapulted him to a prolific 2022, as he won silvers in the same two relays at the world titles in Budapest, and then went one better in each race to claim gold at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games a few weeks later.
He also claimed his first individual international medal as he placed second in the 100m butterfly final in 51.40sec, while he also captured silver in the men’s medley relay.
He finished the year on a high in Melbourne, claiming two gold (4x50m freestyle, 4x100m medley), two silvers (4x100m freestyle, 4x50m mixed freestyle) and a bronze (4x50m medley relay).