Australian Swim Team looking for hat-trick of titles
The 24-strong Australian Swim Team will be looking to take home their third straight title at the 2015 BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series this weekend, after taking the honours at the series for the past two years.
With the addition of Team USA this year, as well as Japan and China on the roster, the Australian Swim Team will line up on the blocks against some of the best competitors in the world as they fight for first place in front of a home crowd.
After touching down in Perth on Tuesday January 27, the team spent the past few days training in the outdoor pool at HBF Stadium in Perth, finalising their race preparation before the swimming starts on Friday 30 January and continues on Saturday night 31 January from 5:30pm (WA time).
With many of the swimmers in the middle of tough training, the meet will be used to benchmark where they are in relation to the other nations leading into the National Championships in April this year and then onto the World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championship gold medallist in the 100m freestyle Cate Campbell will race alongside her sister Bronte in the sprint events on Friday and Saturday night with the pair entered in both the 50 and 100m freestyle and are likely to feature in a number of relays.
Bronte, who won silver at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships in the 100m freestyle, along with Cate, both demonstrated their early season speed at the Victorian State Championships earlier this month and will go into their sprint events as the ones to beat.
The sister act will also need to keep an eye on emerging sprinter Shannon Vreeland from the USA.
The men’s sprint events will see a superstar line up with gold medallists from the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships Cameron McEvoy and James Magnussen going head-to-head with World Championship bronze medallist Jimmy Feigen and Olympic gold medallist Cullen Jones from the USA.
McEvoy will then join his teammate Thomas Fraser-Holmes in the line-up for the men’s 200m freestyle to take on the versatile 11-time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte in what will be a three-way tussle for the title.
In the backstroke, Emily Seebohm and Mitch Larkin will be looking to continue on their run of success from the 2014 swimming season which saw them win medals at three major international meets – the Commonwealth Games, Pan Pacific Championships and World Short Course Championships.
World Short Course and Commonwealth Games Champion Larkin will need to overcome Olympic gold medallist Tyler Clary from the USA and the always competitive Olympic silver medallist Ryosuke Irie from Japan.
While Seebohm, who won gold in Glasgow and then again on the Gold Coast, will need to look out for her teammate Madi Wilson and China’s Fu Yuanhui, who was an Olympic finalist in 2012.
The strong Aussie team will also include four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Emma McKeon and her brother, dual medallist from the Commonwealth Games David McKeon.
The women’s water polo game will follow the swimming action, commencing at 8:00pm on Friday night with the Aussie Stingers coming up against the Chinese while the Aussie men’s Sharks will face the men’s team from the USA at 3:45pm on 31 Saturday January, preceding the swimming.
The BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series will officially begin this Friday, 30 January with tickets available through www.ticketmaster.com.au
For more information including a full start list, go to www.aquaticsuperseries.com.au