They’ll be more than just Australian titles on the line at next year’s Australian Open Water Swimming Championships in Adelaide, as Swimming Australia entices entrants with prize money for podium finishes.
For the first time in the competition’s history, the governing body will offer $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second and $1,000 for third in the 10km open race and 5km time trial in both men’s and women’s categories.
The initiative aims to encourage a host of top international competition to make the trip to Brighton Beach on the Australia Day long weekend, while also fielding the best possible talent the country has to offer.
With entries now open for the event, Swimming Australia’s General Manager – Paralympic & Open Water Programs, Adam Pine, said the competition was already attracting interest from overseas world champions and Olympians.
“Entries opened this week and so far, we’ve been really buoyed by the level of competition that will be on offer in Adelaide for our first national event of 2020,” Pine said.
“Last year’s 10km open champs, Noosa training partners Kareena Lee and Nick Sloman will return to Brighton, as will their 2019 world champs teammates, Kai Edwards, Bailey Armstrong, the Gubecka sisters Chelsea and Chloe, Mackenzie Brazier and Hayden Cotter.
“In terms of international teams and athletes, we’re hoping to see Olympic champion Ferry Weertman from the Netherlands come down to compete, and we’ve also had strong interest from the Americans, which is really pleasing.
“While claiming an Australian title is clearly the overall goal, offering prize money will boost the calibre of racing, which is really important for our athletes coming into an Olympic year. Also, with Lee filing the women’s quota spot on the Australian Olympic team, we want to ensure we provide a competitive racing environment for our female athletes in domestic competitions, and hopefully this money will be a positive incentive.”
The Australian Open Water Swimming Championships take place at Brighton Beach in Adelaide between 25-27 January.
What: Australian Open Water Swimming Championships
When: 25-27 January 2020
Where: Brighton Beach, Adelaide
Entries: Register for the competition