Australia’s best open water swimmers have travelled to the picturesque location of Seychelles off the coast of East Africa to compete in the second leg of FINA’s Marathon Swim World Series.
Taking place this Sunday 12 May in the crystal-clear waters off Beau Vallon Beach, the Aussie contingent will battle it out against high-calibre counterparts in the Men’s and Women’s 10km race which consists of six 1.6km laps.
Representing the women will be Kareena Lee (Noosa), Gubecka sisters Chelsea (Yeronga Park) and Chloe (Kawana Waters), Mackenzie Brazier (Noosa), Sacha Downing (Perth City), Madisyn Armstrong (Kawana Waters) and Jordan White (SLC Aquadot).
While contending for the men will be Nick Sloman (Noosa), Bailey Armstrong (Kawana Waters), Nick Rollo (Perth City), Reilly Kennedy (Perth City), Kai Edwards (TSS Aquatics) and Hayden Cotter (Lawnton).
After claiming the silver medal in the first leg of the Marathon Swim World Series in Doha back in February, Lee, Australia’s 2019 Women’s 10km Open Water champ, will be looking to build on her positive form.
“I think it’s going to be a really good race this weekend, it’s such a beautiful venue we’re competing in,” Lee said.
With the water temperature set to be around 30 degrees the Queenslander says she’ll have to race “smart” and look after her body.
“It’s also a hot field that’s here and hot water, so I think you’ll need to be really smart with how you race in this, especially nutrition wise, making sure you’re getting the electrolytes in and hydrating while you’re in the race.”
Swimming Australia’s Open Water Performance Manager, Greg Shaw, is travelling with the team and reiterated Lee’s point, stating the warm temperatures will have an influence on the race.
“With the water temperature being hot and the field being competitive, swimmers will have to manage their nutrition and race plans to ensure they don’t over swim the first three laps and still have something in the tank for the final sprint to the finish,” Shaw said.
“Our swimmers have been training in the Seychelles National Training Centre pool – with a water temp of 32 degrees – and on the ocean course to ensure they are acclimatised to the conditions before Sunday.
“Everyone is very excited and ready to race but they will have some tough competition, with international stars like Ferry Weertman (Netherlands), Andreas Washburger (Germany), Aurelie Muller (France), Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) and Rachele Bruni (Italy) in the field.”
A top-ten spot would earn swimmers’ points to help them qualify for the Australian team travelling to compete at July’s World Championships in Korea. The top two male and female athletes who accrue the most points from the qualifying events in the swim series (Doha and Seychelles) will secure a position on the team.
This means according to the criteria, Lee, Sloman and Edwards already have points to their name after Lee clinched second in the first leg, Edwards fifth and Sloman seventh – a fact that’s not lost on Sloman.
“I’ve prepared well so it’s now about making sure I hydrate myself and making sure I’m ready for race day. The field is going to be very tight, so hopefully I can get that top ten finish,” Sloman said.
With high stakes at play, there’s no doubt the squad will leave nothing in the tank when they cross the finish line.
“They have all had good preparations into the meet after Doha and with 10km Olympic qualifying spots at World Championships up for grabs, each swimmer is really keen to get in and race,” Shaw added.
The nine-part Marathon Swim World Series began on Saturday 16 February in Doha, with following events to also be held throughout the year in Portugal, Hungary, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Macedonia and China.
Stay tuned to @swimmingAUS on Twitter, @DolphinsAUS on Instagram and our official website for the latest results and information.