Swimming Australia is pleased to announce that the 2021 Australian Open Water Swimming Championship will return to the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith for the first time in 10 years, taking place from 29-31 January.
The national competition will form a critical part of the men’s selection process for a spot in the 10km event at the Tokyo Olympic Games, which will be contested at the Olympic qualification event in Fukuoka. The women’s open water spot on the Tokyo Olympic team has already been secured by Kareena Lee, who grabbed a top 10 finish at the FINA World Swimming Championships last year.
Bragging rights will be on offer in the women’s race as the field looks to knock Lee off the top spot as national champion and claim the spoils. While selection for the World Junior Championship team to compete in the Seychelles will be up for grabs, for both the girls and boys, in the 16-17 years 7.5km and the 18-19 years 10km respectively.
Open Water Performance Manager Greg Shaw said Penrith will provide a great racing opportunity for all athletes competing.
“Penrith provides a fast, flat course very similar to Tokyo, which will be held in a protected bay with minimal current and waves,” he said.
“The environmental conditions in Penrith at the end of January will also allow our swimmers to experience competitive racing in warm water and hot conditions, not unlike what our Olympians will face in Tokyo next August.”
Shaw said Penrith was also a fantastic venue for spectators to be able to view the country’s top open water athletes perform.
“The course has a path the whole way around it so fans will get the opportunity to follow the entire race should they choose,” he said.
“Given it is a critical race for the men in our Olympic selection process it is sure to be one not to miss and we thank the Penrith City Council and the Mayor for hosting us.”
Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler OAM said the region was eagerly anticipating the return of the Australian Open Water Swimming Championships.
“We are delighted to be welcoming back open water swimming at the highest level. The Sydney Regatta Centre remains one of the best open-air swimming courses in Australia for athletes and spectators alike, and perfectly showcases the active, outdoor lifestyle that Penrith offers,” he said.
Entries for the 2021 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships will open in December.