Australia’s swimming coaches are encouraging their athletes to finish off a big year on a high when they take to the pool for the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Hangzhou starting today.
The Australian Dolphins have had an action packed year with the Commonwealth Games and the Pan Pacific Championships both also taking place in 2018.
Brisbane Grammar Director of Swimming David Lush, St Peter’s Western Head Coach Dean Boxall, TSS Aquatic High Performance Coach Chris Nesbit and Nunawading High Performance Coach Scott Talbot all form part of the coaching team for the Australian Dolphins at the World Short Course.
Boxall said he wanted his athletes to finish off the year with a bang.
“For the likes of Mitch Larkin, he is coming up to his 150th race of the year. For him it’s about getting great racing exposure, getting confidence up moving forward so he’s making good progress into 2019 as that is where he will be getting most of the work done.
“This will be Ariarne Titmus’ third time representing Australia this year, so she will be wanting to finish off with very good times, so in 18 months’ time at Olympic Trials she can try and emulate what she has done here at Short Course,” he added.
Talbot said his goal for Hangzhou was to propel the Australian athletes he was working with to the highest possible level.
“I am coaching five athletes over here, including Jess Hansen who swims in my home program. I am in communication with the other swimmers’ coaches at home to ensure that they have the best possible preparation,” said Talbot.
Nesbit will be aiming to be as competitive as possible.
“I want to see the swimmers I am working with improve on their times from the trials and be really competitive come finals time, but most of all enjoy themselves here being a part of the Australian swim team,” said Nesbit.
Lush said he was looking forward to seeing what Emily Seebohm and Minna Atherton could produce at the meet.
“Emily and Minna have both produced world class results, whilst attending the FINA World Cup series. I am looking forward to seeing both girls improve on these performances and going head-to-head against the best in the world.
“These Short Course Championships mark the 19th Australian Cap for Emily. It is absolutely remarkable that Emily is still producing World Class results, since making the team at 14 years of age.
“Emily has taken Minna under her wing and I am excited to see the two of them racing this week,” he added.
After leading the final test session for athletes Seebohm and Atherton, Lush swapped his Australian Team gear for a suit, delivering a Keynote Presentation at the FINA World Aquatic’s Convention. The presentation focused on the differences between coaching Developing verses Mature Aged Athletes.
The coaches agreed that World Short Course was a great opportunity for the debutants and early career athletes.
“Two years ago, at the World Short Course in Windsor it was Clyde Lewis’ and Ariarne’s first meet and they used it as a huge stepping stone and both made the senior team again for the long course,” said Boxall.
“For Abbey Harkin and Cameron Jones who are debuting here in Hangzhou, we want to make sure that we are building the same bridge for them to get over and propel their careers,” he concluded.
“It gives them the opportunity to stand up and race against some of the best athletes in the world in a friendlier and less pressurised environment than a long course World Championships, this is sometimes really good for a first time athlete,” said Talbot.
“For a swimmer like Grayson Bell who is at his first World Championships, we hope this exposure will inspire him to push for the long course team next year and in turn give him a really good chance of getting on the Olympic Team,” said Nesbit.
The FINA World Short Course Championships runs from 11-16 December.