Jesse's star set to shine on the Gold Coast

06 Mar 2018

Jesse A

CHAMPION para-athlete Jesse Aungles cannot wait to lap up the excitement of wearing the green and gold colours of Australia when the Commonwealth Games kicks off on the Gold Coast on April 4.

Jesse, 22, was selected in the Australian swim team where 21 para-athletes and 49 able-bodied swimmers will compete in their respective events at the same competition.

SASI athletes Kyle Chalmers, Travis Mahoney and past SASI scholar James McKechnie were selected in the team as were SASI Head Coach coach Peter Bishop and para team manager Angie Mondello.

Jesse, formerly of Adelaide and who is based at the National Swimming Centre at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, was thrilled to be on the team and mixing with the country's elite athletes.

''To have the para and able-bodied athletes all on the same team and competing at the same time is fantastic,'' Jesse said.

''And to have had that experience in the pool which was a bit different to what I have been used to, was amazing.

''It (selection trials) was an incredible atmosphere and better than what I experienced even at Rio.''

While Jesse did not perform at his best, time wise, in the final of the 200M IM at the trials, he still won comfortably in 2:30.21 with keen rival Blake Cochrane next in 2:36.33.

But Jesse feels he has plenty of improvement in him for the Games.

''Because there wasn't a big field in my event I didn't do my best pb and was about 2.9s off my best.

''But my rival Blake Cochrane (Queensland) was there to push me. I think I have a lot of improvement I can do at the Games.''

Jesse, who won silver in the 200m IM at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, said the program ahead would be a mix of rest and training.

''We have about 20 days at home and then we start to head up to the Games where we have orientation and a bit more training,'' Jesse said.

''In my event there will be only the best eight swimmers eligible who will be competing so it will be a lot more pressure and tougher.''

While Jesse's coach in Canberra is Youry Vodovychenko, he appreciates the support of the SASI program and head coach Bishop.

''Peter has always been great to me and I knew him when he was coaching our greatest para swimmer Matthew Cowdrey,'' he said.

''He (Bishop) is often watching over me and giving me guidance. It is great to have him there at the Games.''

Jesse will look forward to having strong family support on the Gold Coast with his mum and dad included - dad possibly being very vocal and wearing a loud shirt, says Jesse.

Away from the pool Jesse is studying Japanese and International Relations Politics and Commerce at the University of Canberra. One day he would love to be a foreign diplomat.

While there is no virtually no time for hobbies Jesse doesn't mind putting his diplomatic beanie on by supporting both Adelaide and Port Adelaide in the AFL.

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