As the countdown to Tokyo 2020 dips under 365 days, three of Australia’s open water swimmers completed a test race at the Olympic venue – Japan’s Odaiba Marine Park.
Held at the weekend, the event was called ‘Ready Steady Tokyo’ and gave athletes a chance to obtain physiological data to help them prepare for next year’s Games.
Noosa’s Kareena Lee, who has already been nominated to the AOC after her performance at the World Championships in South Korea, took part in the race, along with teammate Nick Sloman and TSS Aquatics’ Kai Edwards.
In a close finish, which included representatives from around 12 countries, Lee and Sloman touched in first place on a photo finish, while Edwards placed in the top ten.
With the water temperature averaging 30 degrees and less-than-ideal water quality, the course for the practice swim was shorten to 5km instead of the usual 10km route, but that didn’t deter Lee.
“It was a really valuable experience to have a hit out on the Olympic course and get a feel for what we’ll face next year in Tokyo,” Lee said.
“With one year to go until the Olympics, we now have a good understanding of the conditions and we’ll be prepared for the heat – it was definitely very warm conditions.”
Sloman echoed Lee’s points and noted the water quality was still being worked on.
“Entering into the race there was a lot of speculation regarding the water temperature and quality, so that’s one of the reasons why I was eager to test this venue,” Sloman said.
“The water was quite dark and cloudy, and I couldn’t really see past my elbow, but in saying that it’s not out of the ordinary to swim in these conditions.
“I’m aware there are procedures in place and an organising committee are working very hard to make sure the water is safe to race in.”
To keep up to date with the latest news, make sure you connect with Swimming’s Australia’s social media channels, as well as the Dolphins swim team.