Swimming Australia’s National Youth Coach, Glenn Beringen, expects to see some ‘exciting performances’ throughout the 2021 Australian Age Swimming Championships ahead of this evening’s finals at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
The Olympic gold medal winning coach is relishing the return of national competition – the first time since 2019 the pinnacle Age event has been able to take place – expressing his delight in being able to reunite with the coaches and athletes once again.
“It's outstanding. It's been a very challenging year for everybody, and probably even until the 11th hour, we didn't know whether we were going to be able to have this competition,” Beringen said on pool deck.
“It's great to see everyone back on deck and you can see the enthusiasm on the faces of the coaches and athletes – they're really looking forward to this opportunity.
“I think it's absolutely crucial (the swimmers are here competing together). We haven't had the opportunity for such a long period of time and people are looking forward to it.”
Beringen has indicated he is entering this year’s highly anticipated event with a glass half-full approach as the swimmers recalibrate themselves back to undertaking national competition.
He has left no stone unturned in his 2021 campaign after spending the early stages of the year travelling around Australia keeping up to date on the progress of the coaches and athletes.
“I'm going to go in with very much an open mind because we haven't seen people compete at this level for a couple of years,” he said.
“In the last couple of months I have been able to get around the country a bit and see coaches and athletes in their programs, and they've done an outstanding job managing their way through this particular situation.
“I think it's caused coaches and athletes to stop and sort of look at what they're doing in the program.
“In some cases, they've had extended breaks, some cases they've had to manage their training load, and it's been a good learning experience for everyone. But for what I've seen, people have done a great job.
“I think there's going to be some exciting performances this week. So, let's bring on the racing.”
Western Australian swimmers have been unable to make the journey to Queensland for this month’s event due to current border restrictions. However, Beringen revealed contingency plans are in place for later this year to allow those swimmers to be in the mix for national selection for the Australian Junior Team.
“Again, we've had to look at A, B and C scenarios this year because of lockdowns and people not being able to attend the meet,” he said.
“Everyone who meets the criteria and attends the meet here is eligible for selection at the Australian Age Swimming Championships. But there are some athletes from around the country, particularly in Western Australia who are not here, and they'll have opportunities to qualify at later meets in the year.”
Finals kick off at 6:00pm (local time) tonight ahead of six more action-packed days ahead.
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