Matt Levy breaks a world record – first in the Maccabiah’s history.

July 12, 2017 by David Weiner
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For someone who has been to four Paralympics, the competition at Maccabiah was never going to be Matt Levy’s biggest challenge…writes David Weiner.

Matt Levy Photo: Robi Karp

But there’s still the clock.

And in a massive testament to Matt’s talent and professionalism, he rode that challenge on Monday in a way no one in Maccabiah history has ever done.

In the 200m freestyle S7 category on Monday at Wingate, Levy became the first person in Maccabiah history to break a world record.

He bettered his 2’16’70 swim from earlier this year to clock 2’16’28 – the morning after claiming a gold in the 100m free in the swim meet’s opening night.

“It’s always good to do PBs in a meet like this,” Matt enthused. “It was a pretty unreal experience and I had a pretty good swim.

Gold medal Matt Levy [centre] with the silver and bronze medallists

It’s always hard to back up from the night before … but it was good that my race plan worked.”

While Matt has a few short course records under his belt, it was only in April this year that he notched his first long course world mark. This is the first time he has set such a mark on foreign soil as well. So, don’t underestimate the magnitude of this personal achievement.

“I approach every meet the same way, and focus on what you need to focus on and my race plan,” he explained.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re racing so long as you’re focusing on yourself and executing your race plan.”

He added: “It’s always great to race internationally.

The calibre might not be as strong, but you’re still representing Australia, and you still get those nerves and always want to get better.

For me, it doesn’t matter where (I compete) so long as I execute…”

Maccabiah swim legends Lenny Krazelburg and Jason Lezak with Matt

Matt got to taste a bit of pre-camp and is relishing looking forward to exploring more about the country in this “once in a lifetime” type opportunity, while currently enjoying mingling with other sports, and athletes of different ages, including the swimmers, golfers, Mac Man and triathlete competitors at his hotel.

“(Participants in Maccabiah are really passionate about what they do and it’s great to be a part of it and experience it,” Matt said.

“It’s a great experience and great to be in Israel and seeing how everyone does their thing.”

But first, there’s more medals to be won in the 50m backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, and Individual Medley.

And records to be set?

Matt hopes so, but just as importantly, is proud to be a trail blazer for Paralympic sports at the Maccabiah.

“This games and the last games had Paralympic events – hopefully that improves and gets more depth. “It’s great to be here and experience the culture and heritage and extra bits and fun stuff on between.”

Levy has claimed his third gold of the meet, in the 50m backstroke butterfly, with a 31:4s swim.

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