Cairns swimmer Chris Wright inspired by girlfriend Melanie Schlanger's gold medal
PROUD boyfriend one day, Olympic debutant the next.
Cairns’ Chris Wright will climb the blocks for the heats of the 200m butterfly tonight (AEST), just over a day after cheering home gold medal-winning girlfriend Mel Schlanger in the Australian women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay.
Both Wright’s Twitter and Facebook pages have been loaded up with messages of support for the pair.
But while all eyes will be on the 26-year-old former Saints swimmer tonight, he was quick to deflect the attention to Schlanger yesterday, who anchored home the Australian team which edged out the Netherlands and the US.
"Thanks for all the support but all the credit goes to @Mel_Schlanger, she deserves everything. She is the greatest person I know," he posted on Twitter, before adding a cheeky apology to mother Sharon.
"So proud, so happy for her. She deserves every thing she achieves.
"I can’t explain how I feel right now. She is amazing. Love her so much."
Wright will race in the fifth heat of the 200m fly tonight, just before 7.30pm Australian time.
If successful, there will be plenty of Far Northerners setting their alarms for 5.30am tomorrow for the semi-finals.
Wright was Australia’s second-fastest Australian qualifier in the event behind controversial teammate Nick D’Arcy.
The longer race used to be Wright’s specialist event, but leading into the Games he switched his focus to the 100m fly after a strong showing in that race at the Olympic qualifiers.
"Feeling pretty good at the moment. Can’t wait to race. Especially the 100 later on," he said, via Facebook.
"It’s a great feeling I’m getting so much support from all over the globe."
Fellow Far Northern product Ashleigh Southern is also set to begin her Olympic dream tonight when her Australian women’s water polo side play their opening match against Italy.
The 19-year-old from Cardwell is the youngest in the team which are strong medal contenders in London.
They take on Italy tonight, with the match beginning here just after midnight.
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Ainít love grand: Cairns swimming product Chris Wright and his girlfriend Melanie Schlanger share a tender moment during a pre-Olympics photo shoot on the Gold Coast. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE