ISLAND coach Nathan Jegou has tipped Filip Nowacki for future international success, after the teenager broke a national record at the 2022 British Summer Championships.
Following a personal best in the 15-year-old’s 200m breaststroke heat, the Tigers swimmer – who is still only 14 – was in a class of his own in the final, cementing an eight-second win.
A time of 2min 20.16sec etched Nowacki’s name into the history books, cutting over a second off the previous 14-year-old’s British record – a feat that Jegou says makes ‘the world his oyster’.
‘You wouldn’t have known he had just broken a national record from his reaction,’ said Jegou. ‘He is such a polite and mature lad in the way he handles everything. You can’t teach that and he has it in abundance.
‘Days like this are what he has trained for tirelessly during sessions before school and on weekends. Everything we do at Tigers is to prepare our swimmers to perform when it counts and to see that paying off for Filip is incredible.’
The record-breaking win capped a stellar week in Sheffield thus far – as the Islander added his third gold at the championships.
Nowacki said: ‘I knew the record was there and it was definitely something I had been training towards. However, I don’t think I expected to beat it. I needed four or five seconds off my personal best entering the championships. I managed to break my best time in heats, but I still had a lot to shave off in the final to break it.
‘When you are in the race you get a sense that you are on for a quick time, but you never really know until you touch the wall for the last time how good it is.
‘It may have been the fifth day of the meet, but we were not racing too much each day, so I felt pretty fresh ahead of the final – it was really good to set that time.’
The good news continued for Jersey’s athletes with the announcement that Trinidad and Tobago will host the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, following postponement in 2021.
Jegou said: ‘Our guys haven’t had much by the way of competition over the past few years, so it is never easy to motivate them to work hard without events on the horizon.
‘The news of the Youth Games is exactly what we needed and it is sure to provide inspiration for the team to fight towards that.’