Jones shines at grand prix

HE might not have had the ideal preparation but Warrnambool swimmer Isaac Jones made a splash in the weekend’s grand prix in Canberra.

The 18-year-old, who received the call up to participate with 10 days’ notice, enhanced his growing reputation with some impressive performances against members of Australia’s Commonwealth Games team, Australia A squad and Australia’s junior team for the Pan Pacific Championships.

The meeting, the first of three, was designed to help prepare the national team for the Commonwealth Games.

Jones’ Warrnambool coach Jayson Lamb said the teenager finished third in the 200 metres butterfly, ahead of a Commonwealth Games-bound athlete. He was fifth in the gruelling 400m individual medley.

“It was the competitive experience that was good for him,” Lamb said.

“As much as you want to do good times, you have to learn to race. It was good for him.”

Jones, who was in the middle of a heavy training load, revealed his competitive instincts with his performances, Lamb said.

A line-up of 88 swimmers attended Swimming Australia’s Grand Prix 1, with the 43 men and 45 women split into three teams, captained by former Australian greats Petria Thomas, Bill Kirby and Ashley Callus. Jones was part of Petria Thomas’ team, which was second overall.

As part of the initiative, Commonwealth Games-bound swimmers were buddied up with emerging swimmers. Jones’ mentor for the two-day event was star Alicia Coutts.

Jones will continue training before leaving Warrnambool for college in the United States later in the year.

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