Ipswich’s Olympic Silver Medallist Leah Neale All Set to Compete in Her First Commonwealth Games

Leah Neale
Photo credit: University of the Sunshine Coast/Facebook

After winning silver in the last Olympic freestyle relay competition, Ipswich’s very own, Leah Neale, is all hyped to compete in her first Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

Adding to her excitement is the fact that this time around, she will be swimming in the individual 200m freestyle event.

Leah Neale is excited to compete in the individual 200m freestyle event. (Photo credit: Australian Dolphins Swim Team/Facebook)

During the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games, Neale was hoping to participate in an individual swim competition, in addition to the Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay.

The former St Mary’s College student made the cut after placing third in the 200m freestyle selection trial. She clocked 1 minute and 56.86 seconds, coming next to Ariarne Titmus (1:55.76) and Emma McKeon (1.56.57).

Joining the Australian Dolphins in the Com Games is a big deal for the Ipswich international medallist, who missed out making the swim team in the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow.

International Experience

Neale, who now studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast, is using her memorable experience at the last Olympics to boost her confidence as she prepares for the Gold Coast games. It was her Olympic debut when she and her teammates grabbed silver, coming second to the USA in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay in Rio 2016.

Ipswich international athlete Neale with her teammates showing their Olympic silver medals at the Rio 2016. (Photo credit: Australian Dolphins Swim Team/Facebook)

International exposure at major sporting events such as the Olympics gives the 22-year-old athlete a better picture of what to expect in the Com Games.

Prior to the Olympics, she also represented Australia at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, where the Australian team ranked 6th in the 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay. She placed 21st in the 400m freestyle and 26th in the 800m freestyle during the same competition.

Last year, the Olympic medallist once again represented Australia at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Neale first joined the Australian Dolphins in 2014. She has the distinction of being the first 15-year-old in Australian history to get a time of under two minutes for the 200m freestyle.

The freestyle specialist is just one of the Commonwealth Games competitors who hail from Ipswich. Also competing at the Games are Ipswich athletes Cassie Purdon (High Jump), Deborah Acason and Alyce Stephenson (Weightlifting), Joseph Deng (Athletics), Matt Hodgson (Basketball) and Jordyn Holzberger (Hockey).

When and Where to Watch Leah Neale

Neale will be swimming against the best in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Thursday 5 April 2018 for the Women’s 200m Freestyle event. Heat 1 will start at 11:00 a.m.

She will join the Australian team on Saturday 7 April for the Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final at 9:50 p.m.

Event: Date and Time
Women’s 200m Freestyle Thursday 5 April 2018

Heat 1 – 11:00 a.m.
Heat 2 – 11:04 a.m.
Heat 3 – 11:07 a.m.
Heat 4 – 11:11 a.m.
Final – 8:04 p.m.

Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final Saturday 7 April 2018

9:50 p.m.

 

The individual and relay swimming contests will happen at the Optus Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast. Use the official Journey Planner from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games website to find the best transport options to the venue.