Swimming Australia has announced a 20-strong squad for the upcoming World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China in December.
The team was named after three days of swimming at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships held at the Melbourne Aquatic Centre.
Making their Australian Dolphins debut after solid swims in Melbourne this weekend are Nicholas Brown (UWA West Coast), Abbey Harkin (St Peters Western), Jorden Merrilees (Melbourne VicCentre) and Jenna Strauch (Bond), Cameron Jones (St Peters Western) David Schlicht (MLC), and Greyson Bell (TSS Aquatic).
Brown swam to victory in the 200m butterfly on night one of the qualifying meet with Harkin taking out the 400m individual medley on the same night.
Merilees qualified for the team with his second place in the men’s 200m backstroke on Friday night along with Strauch whose win in the 200m breaststroke clinched her place.
Jones made the qualifying time in men’s 50m freestyle, with Schlicht making the time for selection following his silver in the men’s 400m IM.
The team is also bolstered by the inclusion of triple Olympian and experienced short course campaigner Emily Seebohm (Brisbane Grammar), who picked up her 31th Australian short course title this weekend cementing her place as the Australian record holder.
Thomas Fraser-Holmes also makes his return to international swimming following his suspension, after his win in the men’s 400m IM on the final night of swimming.
Australian Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren said the team is a good mix of experience and athletes early in their careers.
“We are half way into the Olympic cycle so this team will get some good race experience and take a lot out of being on team and training and preparing with this group of athletes.
“It is great to have the leadership of some really experienced multi-campaigners like Emily, Cam, and Mitch. To have athletes with that experience on team is a real plus for everyone.
“It is also fantastic to see Cam McEvoy make a return to the Dolphins team after three months working with his new coach Chris Nesbit.
“Short Course is an event that is growing in attention internationally and we will face very tough competition in China from other nations who have well established short course swimmers.”
Verhaeren also confirmed the coaches selected to travel with the team are David Lush (Brisbane Grammar), Dean Boxall (St Peters Western), Chris Nesbit (TSS Aquatic) and Scott Talbot (Nunawading).
“It is always our goal to lift our performances from these selection events to major international meets and this group of coaches will add great value and guidance in achieving this,” he added.
The following swimmers made themselves unavailable for selection for the World Short Course Championships due to different priorities in their training and competition plans: Kyle Chalmers (Marion) Jack McLoughlin (Chandler), Lani Pallister (Alexandra Headland), Elijah Winnington (Bond), Matthew Wilson (SOPAC), Emma McKeon (Griffith Uni) and Laura Taylor (TSS).
The team leaves for China on December 6 with racing to begin on December 11.
The Australian Dolphins Short Course World Championship team is as follows:
|Minna Atherton||Brisbane Grammar||100m, 200m backstroke|
|Holly Barratt||Rockingham||50m freestyle|
|Grayson Bell||TSS Aquatic||50m breaststroke|
|Nicholas Brown||UWA West Coast||200m butterfly|
|Carla Buchanan||Acacia Bayside||400m freestyle|
|Jack Gerrard||Melbourne Vicentre||Relay only swimmer|
|Alexander Graham||Bond||200m freestyle|
|Madeleine Gough||TSS Aquatic||800m freestyle|
|Jessica Hansen||Nunawading||100m breaststroke|
|Abbey Harkin||St Peters Western||400m IM|
|Thomas Fraser-Holmes||Griffith University||400m IM|
|Cameron Jones||St Peters Western||50m freestyle|
|Mitchell Larkin||St Peters Western||200m IM, 200m backstroke|
|Cameron McEvoy||TSS Aquatic||100m freestyle,|
|Jorden Merrilees||Melbourne Vicentre||200m backstroke|
|Emily Seebohm||Brisbane Grammar||100m, 200m backstroke|
|David Schlicht||MLC||400 IM|
|Jenna Strauch||Bond||200m breaststroke|
|Ariarne Titmus||St Peters Western||400m, 800m freestyle|
|Louis Townsend||Rackley||100m freestyle|