PAIGE Leonhardt continued her preparations for the October world championships in Mexico with success at the Para World Series from June 9-11.
Leonhardt returned to the pool for the first time since the national titles in April and it was as though she hadn’t left.
She claimed her first-ever international gold medals with success in the 100-metre breaststroke, butterfly and 200-metre individual medley events.
She finished second in the 400-metre freestyle.
The most pleasing result for coach Jeremy Wardrop was her performance in the individual medley event – a stroke she has been working hard on improving.
It showed she had the ability to return to the pool and perform at her best after having a break from competition.
“She did a PB in her medley from when she swum in the national championships here which was really good to see,” Wardrop said.
“For her to just come out of the first two weeks in the altitude tent, get on the plane, fly to America and then get a PB shows some really good signs.
“It was a good chance for us to see how she responded to coming out of the tent and going into racing.”
Wardrop also agreed the Indianapolis swim meet was the perfect preparation for the world championships.
“It’s very good for Paige to be able to go straight back into competition and perform as well as she did because it’s added confidence for her,” he said.
“She picked up three wins in an international meet which was mainly for a bit of experience for her in a smaller team.
For her to just come out of the first two weeks in the altitude tent, get on the plane, fly to America and then get a PB shows some really good signs.
“The next time she races will be at the world championships.”
The teenager is due to arrive back in Australia for a few weeks before preparations again start in earnest ahead of the October world championships.
Leonhardt’s coach was confident everything was “on track”.
“She’s where she needs to be and the next nine weeks we will hopefully tip her over the scales where she will PB again like she did in Rio,” he said.
Her success in America showed what she was capable of.
“It’s a benchmark for her and I wanted her swimming right down on her personal best,” he said.
“If she can swim point three or point five off her PB that’s a great result; to swim under is fantastic.”
She’s where she needs to be and the next nine weeks we will hopefully tip her over the scales where she will PB again like she did in Rio.
Wardrop said Leonhardt had the ability to stand on the podium in Mexico, but he wasn’t going to make any predictions.
“I’m not going to say we’re definitely going to win a gold medal there,” he said.
“But it’s definitely not out of the equation. It’s what we are training for and the focus is on the butterfly where she is ranked number one at the moment.”