Published: Jan 8, 2013 09:10:32 AM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:25:29 AM
Olympic Gold Medalist and Australian Swimmer of the Year Alicia Coutts will headline this week’s 2013 Victorian Open Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Coutts, who will compete at her first long course meet since London, will race against 4x100m gold medal winning teammate Melanie Schlanger and Olympian Blair Evans in the women’s 100m Freestyle, for what shapes as the blue riband event of the Championships.
The trio will be joined by fellow Olympians Belinda Hocking, Matson Lawson, David McKeon, Leiston Pickett, James Roberts, Matt Targett, Christopher Wright and former world record holder Brenton Rickard as they fine tune their race preparations before next week’s lucrative BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series in Perth.
Members of Australia’s returning World Short Course Championships team Ashley Delaney, Rachel Goh, Marieke Guehrer, Sarah Katsoulis Jarrod Killey Grace Loh, Travis Mahoney and Samantha Marshall will also compete along with Paralympians Kayla Clarke, Matthew Haanappel and Ahmed Kelly, making for a sensational three days of swimming.
This year’s event will also feature athletes from Japan, Scotland and New Zealand along with Victoria’s brightest swimmers, Lachlan McLeish, Jessica Hansen, Jemma Schlicht, Nicholas Groenewald, Mack Horton, Mitchell Pratt, Lachlan Wells, Celeste Astorino, Hayley Baker, Jenna Strauch and teen sensation Alexander Graham who will all compete at the Australian Youth Olympics Festival at the conclusion of the Victorian Open Championships.
After breaking three records including Michael Klim’s Victorian Boys 17-18 Years 200m Freestyle record at the Victorian Age Championships in December, Graham will come up against Olympian James Roberts in the men’s 100m Freestyle in what promises to be one of the races of the Championships. Graham’s coach Gene Jackson is confident the youngster can go faster this week in preparation for the Youth Olympics Festival in Sydney.
"We deliberately trained hard through the State Age Championships in order to be prepared and tapered for the Youth Olympics; so to break three records was a surprise. Hopefully Alex will go faster at these Championships for his final build up for Sydney next week," said Jackson.
Over 600 swimmers will compete at the 2013 Victorian Open Championships which will commence at 9:00am on Friday January 11 and conclude on Sunday January 13.
Friday 11 January | Heats 9:00am | Finals 6:00pm
Saturday 12 January | Heats 9:00am | Finals 6:00pm
Sunday 13 January | Heats 9:00am | Finals 6:00pm
For further information please visit www.swimmingvictoria.org.au and for media accreditation please contact Media &Communications Officer Michael O’Toole on 0401 733 229 or email email@example.com.
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