The first wave of Dolphins have dived into the Tobruk Memorial Pool in Cairns, as preparations start to ramp up for the FINA World Swimming Championships in South Korea in four weeks’ time.
Members of the team were given the option to arrive in Cairns this week or next, with eight athletes arriving in the tropical north on Tuesday afternoon to train at the world-class facilities, with the remainder of the team to link up with their teammates next Tuesday.
Breaststroker Jenna Strauch (Bond) said she was thrilled to be in far north Queensland to prepare for world champs.
“The weather has been great for us so far; it was cold and wet when we left home so to get up into the warmer weather and with no rain is great. It is really good to be here and soaking it all up – everything here in Cairns is just so good,” she said.
Former World Champion backstroker Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) echoed Strauch’s thoughts, saying it was great to be in Cairns enjoying the warm weather.
“It is a great facility here and it is nice to come together and put the finishing touches on a great prep,” Larkin said.
“I know next week when the whole team is here it is going to be a lot more exciting and you will certainly get the vibe we are preparing for a world championships.”
Cairns Councillor Max O’Hallaron said the town loved hosting the Dolphins.
“This was one of the reasons we took the risk and built the pool. These are the sorts of things we aimed for, so to have the team here and enjoying the city at the right time of the year is great – with the weather being the big advantage of course,” he said.
“To see all the athletes riding their bikes around and enjoying the lifestyle in Cairns, as well doing the hard yards, it is wonderful to see, and it is an absolute joy to have the Dolphins in town.”
The Dolphins will spend two weeks in Cairns and then head to Nagaoka to train for a week before travelling to Gwangju for the World Championships which begin on July 21.