The Australian Dolphins swim team are winging their way to Nagaoka in Japan after wrapping up a successful two-week training camp in Cairns in preparation for FINA’s World Swimming Championships.
Reflecting on the camp following its conclusion, National Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren said it had been a fantastic experience for the team in Queensland’s far north.
“Last year was the first time we came here to prepare, and we have learned a lot from that trip. It is becoming a good base for us to prepare – this year for World Championships and next year for the Olympics,” he said.
“People in Cairns are very kind and supportive of us; the Council is extremely supportive and honestly we couldn’t ask for more.”
While the team spent many hours at the Tobruk Memorial Pool, the beautiful surroundings and vast range of local activities kept the Dolphins busy.
“Cairns has a lot to offer, so on an afternoon off if they choose to, they (the athletes) can go somewhere.
“We went out last week to the reef with the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and got to experience the beauty of it which was amazing."
You can also read more about their trip to the reef here.
Verhaeren said the team was in good shape after their 14-day preparations.
“We are looking good; everyone is healthy and there are no injuries so that is always important.
“They have been training well and the sets they have swum here in Cairns have been really good, but we know the rest of the world will be too (feeling good), so it is going to be a hard battle.
After a solid and intense couple of weeks, the Dolphins will now look to put the final touches on their preparation in Nagaoka, Japan – the exclusive training base of the Australian swim team.
“We have a week in Nagaoka which is really the last week of our preparations – and the so-called tapering off phase for the athletes – where they start to benefit from the hard work they have done.
“There is still an intensity in training but really now they’re looking to sharpen up for competition.”
The Dolphins will train in Nagaoka until next Tuesday before heading to Gwangju, South Korea for the World Champs, beginning on 21 July.