WARRNAMBOOL swimmer Isaac Jones is in contention for the 2016 Olympics after leaping up the Australian rankings at the national championships in Brisbane last night.
Jones yesterday morning posted a big personal best time to qualify third in the 200m butterfly before coming within .03 of a second of that time again in last night's final where he finished fifth.
His time of 1.58.38 in the morning was 1.43 seconds under his previous best a giant improvement in elite swimming. Queenslander Grant Irvine won the event in a time of 1.56.23.
While he missed a Commonwealth Games berth, Warrnambool Swimming Club coach Jayson Lamb said Jones had done enough to be selected in an Australian team for another international event later in the year. "I'm happy he backed up that swim from this morning," Lamb said.
"It's all part of the plan. It has him back in the ball park for two years' time."
The 18-year-old, who will contest his final national aged championships in a fortnight, has made major inroads in his time for the 200m butterfly.
"You go back two years ago and he scraped into a semi-final when they had them, he was 16th," Lamb said.
"Last year he scraped into the final and he was eighth and now he has gone to fifth. It's all stepping stones in the right direction."
Lamb said Jones would take a lot out of last night's success.
"Today would have given him a huge boost in confidence in himself. Although he has been a very good swimmer, there has been someone there to knock him off. But he's in with the big boys now and he's up to fifth."
Jones will be back in the pool this morning in the 100m butterfly heats.
"This will be good to see where he is at," Lamb said.
"We are not expecting the world."
Earlier yesterday Jones' heat swim turned heads, including his coach's.
"With all his training times if he put it all together, it was going to happen," Lamb said.
"I must admit I wasn't expecting such a big drop. It is very exciting.
"We have been working a lot on his efficiency and it worked a treat."
Jones qualified for the B main of the 200m freestyle on Wednesday night but Lamb scratched him from the event.
He said because of the TV broadcast rights, the B final was to be held about 9.30pm and with the pair staying about 30 minutes from the Chandler pool, Lamb felt it would have undermined his charge's preparation for the 200m 'fly.