The father of Commonwealth Games gold medalist Andrew Jeffcoat is beaming with pride


The gold rush for New Zealand athletes continues at the Commonwealth Games, with more in the pool and on the track.

In the small Coromandel town of Colville, many eyes were on Andrew Jeffcoat, the hometown boy who took gold in the 50m backstroke final.

His father Carl was one of them. Glass loaded and ready to go – he was convinced it was in the bag before the starting pistol.

“It’s a game of seconds, hundreds of seconds,” he said Checkpoint.

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“You don’t have 40 minutes to solve it, but a short time.”

He is “pretty proud” of his son, a “young fellow from Colville”, after the early morning (NZ time) win.

“He’s worked hard and persevered. He’s had some ups and downs. He’s damn good. We’re proud.”

And from what he’s seen online, Carl thinks the entire Colville community was watching.

He managed to chat with Andrew after the win, before getting ready for tonight’s 200m heats.

At the end of the 50m race, Andrew made a mysterious hand gesture. His father thinks it’s a reference to a time when Andrew was an underdog.

“I think it was when they were back training in Spain between the World Championships and the [the Commonwealth Games], there were some people who gave them a hard time about something. They said they were turkeys. So I think I’ll make the turkey sign.”

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There are many years and little financial reward behind Andrew’s victory, his father says.

“They are damn dedicated… The whole team has done a great job.

“It’s their livelihood, it’s their full-time job. They train 60 hours a week and have no money for it, so they have to make money elsewhere.”

And is Carl a good swimmer?

“Probably in a hot tub, yes.”



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