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Zac Stubblety-Cook bio

Zac Stubblety-Cook

Age

25

Place of Birth

South Brisbane, QLD

Hometown

Brisbane

Junior Club

Wellers Hill Water Ratz

Senior Club

Chandler Aquatic Centre

Coach

Vince Raleigh

Olympic History

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

High School

Anglican Church Grammar School, Brisbane

Career Events

Swimming Men's 100m Breaststroke

Swimming Men's 200m Breaststroke

Swimming Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay

Swimming Mixed 4 x 100m Medley Relay

 

Zac's Story

Breaststroker Zac Stubblety-Cook is the quiet man of Australian swimming and perhaps one of the most underrated members of the Dolphins.

The 25-year-old Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion, and former world record-holder, flies under the radar and keeps a low profile compared to some of the stars of the swim team. And that’s the way he likes it.

“I’m just driven to get the best out of myself and representing myself at the highest level,” Zac said. “If other people want to watch, they will.”

Needless to say, quite a few people have been watching in recent years as Zac has risen to become Australia’s best male breaststroker, with a particular talent for the 200m.

Zac started swimming with the Water Ratz at Wellers Hill, Brisbane, joining the learn-to-swim program for general water safety.

He made his Dolphins debut at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, competing in the 200m breaststroke heats.

A year later he won his first international medal at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo. Zac swam an impressive 2:07.89 in the 200m breaststroke to claim the silver medal.

 

He continued to impress at the 2021 Australian Swimming National Championships, taking out two national titles in the 100m breaststroke and 200m breaststroke.
The then 22-year-old dominated the field at the 2021 Olympic trials, posting a time of 2:06.28 in the men’s 200m breaststroke. His impressive performance not only booked his ticket for Tokyo 2020, but also set a new Commonwealth record and National record.

Zac's hard work paid off at Tokyo 2020 as he became an Olympic champion in the 200m breaststroke on his Olympic debut.

It was Australia's fifth gold medal in the pool at these Games, and the only swimming gold medal on the men's side. His time of 2:06.38 set an Olympic Record. Not since Ian O'Brien at the 1964 Olympics, also in Tokyo, had an Australian won gold in the men's 200m breaststroke.

Then in the Olympic debut of the mixed 4x100m medley relay, Zac powered to bronze with teammates Emma McKeon, Kaylee McKeown and Matthew Temple.
In May 2022, Zac cemented his position as the dominant 200m breaststroker on the planet, smashing the world record with a stunning 2:05.95 at the Australian Championships in Adelaide. The time was 0.17sec under the previous mark set by Russian Anton Chupkov and Zac was the first swimmer to go under 2:06.00.

 

 

A few weeks later he came from behind to win gold in the 200m breaststroke at the World Championships in Budapest, adding the world title to his Olympic gold.

He was last at the 100m mark before powering home in the final two laps to win in 2:07.07. Joint silver medallists Yu Hanaguruma of Japan and Sweden’s Erik Persson were 1.31 seconds back.

That meant Zac went into the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham holding a trifecta of titles: world champion, Olympic champion and world-record holder. Best-known for his back-end speed, Zac once again came from behind to add the Commonwealth 200m title to his record.

Trailing Englishman James Wilby by 0.69 at the halfway mark, Zac lifted to close the gap and win in 2:08.07.

In the 100m breaststroke the order was reversed, with Wilby taking gold and Zac just a fraction of a second behind in the silver medal position. English breaststroke great Adam Peaty, recovering from a foot injury, was relegated to fourth.

Zac was on top of the world going into the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, and it took another world record to beat him – just.

 

 In the 200m breaststroke final, Zac took silver in a time that was less than half a second outside his world record. For a moment, it looked like he might snatch gold with another come-from-behind win, but despite a late surge he couldn’t catch China’s Qin Haiyang, who won with a new world record of 2:05.48. Qin was one of Fukuoka’s superstars, completing a historic hat-trick with gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Zac added to his World Championship medal haul with silver in the mixed 4x100m medley relay and bronze in the men’s 4x100m medley relay.

As he entered the Olympic year, Zac won the 100m and 200m breaststroke titles at the 2024 Australian championships on the Gold Coast.

He booked his ticket to Paris when he won the 200m breaststroke at the Australian Olympic trials in Brisbane in June.

Outside of the pool, Zac is studying for a double degree in psychological science and business at Brisbane’s Griffith University.

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