Matt Welsh

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.[1]

Matt Welsh
Welsh at 2008 Mt Waverley Village Christmas carols with Patti Newton
Personal information
Full nameMatthew James Welsh
National team Australia
Born (1976-11-18) 18 November 1976
Melbourne, Victoria
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight80 kg (176 lb)
StrokesBackstroke, butterfly
ClubMelbourne Vicentre
Australian Institute of Sport

Early years

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

Event Time Place
1998 World Championships
100m Backstroke55.45 6th
4 × 100 m Medley3:37.98 GoldAR
2001 World Championships
50m Backstroke25.49 Bronze
100m Backstroke54.31 Gold
200m Backstroke1:58.80 4th
4 × 100 m Medley3:35.35 Gold
2003 World Championships
50m Butterfly23.43 GoldWR
50m Backstroke25.01 SilverAR
100m Backstroke53.92 SilverAR
200m Backstroke1:57.94 5th
2005 World Championships
50m Backstroke24.99 SilverAR
100m Backstroke54.89 9th
200m Backstroke2:02.64 18th
2007 World Championships
50m Backstroke25.61 8th
100m Backstroke54.65 7th
4 × 100 m Medley3:34.93 Gold
Event Time Place
2000 Olympics
100m Backstroke54.07 SilverAR
200m Backstroke1:57.59 BronzeAR
4 × 100 m Medley3:35.27 SilverAR
2004 Olympics
100m Backstroke54.52 5th
200m Backstroke2:01.73 19th
4 × 100 m Medley3:39.14 9th

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.

Swimming history

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.

Personal life

Welsh married Lauren Newton, the daughter of Bert and Patti Newton, on 4 November 2006. They are parents to four children: Son, Sam, born January 2008, daughter, Eva, born May 2009, daughter, Lola, born March 2012, and son, Monty, born February 2016

Awards and honours

See also


  1. SMH.COM.AU, "Matt Welsh to quit the pool"
  2. "Matt Welsh". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  3. "Matt Welsh". Australian Honours Database. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
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