Welsh at 2008 Mt Waverley Village Christmas carols with Patti Newton
|Full name||Matthew James Welsh|
18 November 1976 |
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||80 kg (180 lb)|
Australian Institute of Sport
Matthew James Welsh, OAM (born 18 November 1976) is an Australian swimmer who is the former world champion in the backstroke and butterfly. He took two golds in 50-metre butterfly and 50-metre backstroke, during one hour, at the World Championships in Shanghai 2006. Welsh retired from professional swimming in March 2008 when he failed to secure a place in the team for the Beijing Olympics.
Welsh started swimming in his final years at Scotch College, Melbourne and moved into competitive swimming in 1995 after leaving school at the age of eighteen. He trained under coach Ian Pope at the Melbourne Vicentre Club. His first big break came in 1998 at the world swimming championships in Perth, Western Australia with a gold in the 4x100-metre medley relay.
World and Olympic accomplishments
At 31 and after 11 years on the Australian Swim Team, Welsh was unable to beat the younger generation at the trials and was not selected to compete at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Welsh has won several world championship titles in both backstroke and butterfly. He first broke the Australian record in the 100 metre backstroke in 1998. He also won more Australian swimming titles than any swimmer in history, claiming his 50th win at the 2006 Australian titles in Brisbane in December 2006.
Welsh married Lauren Newton, the daughter of Bert Newton, on 4 November 2006. They are parents to a son Sam, born January 2008 and two daughters, Eva, born May 2009 and Lola, born March 2012.
Awards and honours
- Australian Sports Medal in 2000.
- Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2013 for services swimming and charity work.
- List of Commonwealth Games medallists in swimming (men)
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (men)
- World record progression 50 metres backstroke
- World record progression 50 metres butterfly
- World record progression 200 metres backstroke