Rabu, 20 Maret 2013

Coutts and Seebohm headline NSW Championships

AKUATIK INDONESIA: More than half of the Australian Swim Team from London, including multiple medallists Alicia Coutts and Emily Seebohm will come together at the 2013 New South Wales State Open Championships this weekend, from Friday to Sunday at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

With just 44 days to go until the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide, 24 Olympians and a handful of Paralympians will use the meet as vital race practise and preparation ahead of looking to qualify for selection onto the teams for the 2013 FINA and IPC World Championships.

Five-time London Olympic medallist Alicia Coutts will test her training and conditioning in a total of nine events over the three days, six of which will see her go head-to-head with dual silver medallist and Olympic record holder from London Emily Seebohm.

Silver medal winning medley relay teammates in London, Coutts and Seebohm will battle it out for bragging rights in the 50m butterfly, freestyle and backstroke, as well as the 100m backstroke and freestyle and the 200m individual medley.

Joining them in the women’s 50m and 100m freestyle will be fellow London Olympic teammates Brittany Elmslie and Yolane Kukla.

Swimming Australia Head Coach Leigh Nugent, who is unable to attend the meet due to family reasons, said he will be watching the times with interest as they come in over the three days of competition.

“NSW States is traditionally the last chance for athletes to fine tune their racing skills before the Australian Swimming Championships, and for many aspiring for selection in Adelaide, this will be their first real hit out of 2013.”

“It’s always difficult to gauge where an athlete might be in their preparation for Trials, and what their times might actually mean, but in reality we’re looking for swimmers to be able to back up from heat swims and post faster times in finals, regardless of their overall program.”

“We’ve set the qualifying standards high for Barcelona this year, the equivalent of top eight at the 2011 World Championships, so we’re looking for athletes to step up and set those standards in the pool.”

In the men’s events, the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle races will be contested by 4x100m freestyle relay teammates from London James Magnussen, James Roberts, Tommaso D’Orsogna and Cameron McEvoy.  And while it could be a four-way-face-off in each of the freestyle sprint events,  Roberts, McEvoy and D’Orsogna will also line up against each other in the 100m butterfly.

2011 World Championship relay gold medallist Matthew Abood and younger brother Andrew  will also step up to the blocks for the 50m and 100m freestyle events, while 2012 FINA World Cup champion Kenneth To will also add some experience to the freestyle events.

A host of Paralympians will also travel to Sydney for race practise in preparation for the 2013 IPC World Swimming Championships in Montreal this August.

Eight-time Paralympic gold medallist, Jacqueline Freney will be looking to continue her run of success but will have to overcome her Paralympic teammates and fellow multiple Paralympic medallists Ellie Cole and Maddison Elliott when they line up for the Multi Class 100m freestyle.

With over 850 competitors entered, including international athletes from Japan, China and France, this weekend is set to showcase some fast times and strong competition.

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