"IT'S a beautiful Friday morning."
When your swimmer has just achieved a personal best swim and won a Commonwealth Games medal, it certainly is.
Waterworx Swim Club coach Dean Pugh was a delighted mentor after his long-time protege Keryn McMaster produced a career-best effort to win bronze in the 400m individual medley in Glasgow.
Pugh has been McMaster's coach for 17 years. He was thrilled to see her on the podium at the 20th Commonwealth Games, making her debut.
"It's just sensational," Pugh said, having joined the Waterworx program along with McMaster in May last year.
"She did a fantastic job."
McMaster's time of four minutes, 36.35 seconds bettered her previous fastest IM by three seconds.
Apart from national team camps, McMaster's pre-Games training was at the Springfield pool, after the 20-year-old moved to Augustine Heights.
Training in Ipswich included braving the chilly mornings to do extra speed sessions.
"All the work coming into the meet . . . it makes it more than worth it," Pugh said.
"I spoke to her post-race once she got through swim down and drug tests and all that, and she was just one very ecstatic young lady."
McMaster's medal swim came after she qualified fourth fastest for the final. Her new personal-best time would have qualified her for a world championships final.
In Glasgow, defending champion Hannah Miley, from Scotland, smashed her own Commonwealth Games record in winning gold in four minutes 31.76 seconds.
England's Aimee Willmott (4.33.01) secured silver, having also set world-class times.
Her bronze medal was Ipswich-based McMaster's first at a Commonwealth Games after winning gold at a US Open meet.
It was also the first time Pugh had a swimmer to medal at one of the big three meets - the Olympics, world titles or Commonwealth Games.
His personal satisfaction was helping build a Waterworx Swim Club program specifically aimed at the high performance level.
"It's fantastic. We've got two years now to be ready for Rio (next Olympics)," Pugh said.
"She was pumped that all the hard work pays off."
Ipswich City councillor David Morrison was eager to praise the swimmer who has recognised the value of training in the city.
"We are all very proud of Keryn on the Commonwealth bronze medal she has won," Cr Morrison said. "This is a result of many years of discipline and self-control.
"Congratulations to Keryn, her family and coaches at Waterworx Springfield."
Games success inspires kids to set high goals
WATERWORX Swim Club coach Dean Pugh said Keryn McMaster's Commonwealth Games success would give her added confidence for the Pan Pacific Championships later this year before preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
However, the coach was also thrilled to see how her medal-winning effort in the Glasgow pool would inspire other Ipswich swimmers.
"The hope is that it puts fire in the belly of the young swimmers," Pugh said. "That they can have a tangible role model there that they can look to and see how hard she works and feed off that, and look to reach their own goals. And not be scared to set high goals."
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