18-year old breakout Australian Brittany Elmslie will replace the injured Blair Evans on the Dolphins’ roster for the upcoming BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series squad, Swimming Australia announced today. Elmslie now gets the chance to compete against squads from China and South Africa for a massive cash purse in Western Australia. The meet will be held January 18th and 19th.
Evans is battling a shoulder injury and is choosing to focus on resting and rehabilitating that ahead of the World Championship Trials in April rather than push it through this meet. This will pull Evans away from a crowd in Perth that was looking forward to a rare chance to see one of the best swimmers ever to hail from Western Australia.
Elmslie’s spot will come at least on the 800 free relay, with a spot in the 200 fly a distinct possibility as well. She made her mark last summer as a sprinter, including bumping the legendary Libby Trickett from the finals group that won gold in the 400 free relay at the Olympics. At last month’s Queensland State Championships, however, she put up a blazing 200 free of 1:58.34.
“Brittany swam two very strong 200m freestyles in Queensland last month, off the back of real breakout year in 2012,” National Team coach Leigh Nugent said of the decision.“While it’s disappointing for Blair that she won’t be able to swim in front of her home crowd in Perth, the decision to withdraw her from the event has been made with an eye towards her being fully fit for the EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships in April.”
An interesting twist is that, on a team full of sprinters, with no Stephanie Rice, and Jess Schipper on maternity leave, Elmslie may get put into the 200 fly. She’s never swum that race before, but would be the most logical option to fill a big hole in the Australian lineup.
The new Australian squad is below, followed by those of the Chinese and South Africans:
MEN: Daniel Arnamnart (NSW), Ashley Delaney (VIC), Thomas Fraser-Holmes (QLD), Jayden Hadler (NSW), Mitchell Larkin (QLD), James Magnussen (NSW), David McKeon (NSW), Kenrick Monk (QLD), Ryan Napoleon (QLD), Brenton Rickard (QLD), James Roberts (QLD), Christian Sprenger (QLD), Matthew Targett (VIC), Daniel Tranter (NSW), Chris Wright (QLD)
WOMEN: Bronte Barratt (QLD), Cate Campbell (QLD), Bronte Campbell (QLD), Alicia Coutts (QLD), Brittany Elmslie (QLD), Sally Foster (SA), Samantha Hamill (QLD), Belinda Hocking (VIC), Sarah Katsoulis (VIC), Yolane Kukla (QLD), Meagen Nay (QLD), Kylie Palmer (QLD), Leiston Pickett (QLD), Melanie Schlanger (QLD), Emily Seebohm (QLD)
MEN: Alaric Basson, Devon Brown, Bryon Doyle, Calvyn Justus, Charl Crous, Chad Le Clos, Darren Murray, Roland Schoeman, Leith Shankland, Aryton Sweeney, Garth Tune, Neil Versfeld, Jan Petrus Van Der Merwe, Giulio Zorzi
WOMEN: Jessica Ashley-Cooper, Marne Erasmus, Kelly Gunnel, Lehesta Kemp, Trudi Maree, Vanessa Mohr, Tara-Lynn Nicholas, Jessica Pengelly, Kyna Pereira, Karin Prinsloo, Marlies Ross, Suzaan Van Biljon, Nathania Van Niekerk, Rene Warnes, Michelle Weber
MEN: Cheng Feiyi, Li Xiayan, Zhou Jiawei, Lv Zhiwu, Xu Jiayu, Huang Yunkun, Chen Yin, Liu Weija, Shi Tengfei, Hao Yun, Li Yunqi, Dai Jun, Shi Yang
WOMEN: Zhao Jing, Zhao Jin, Lu Ying, Tang Yi, Fu Yuanhui, He Yun, Jiao Liuyang, Liu Zige, Xu Danlu, Shao Yiwen, Ye Shiwen, Bai Anqi, Yao Yige, Pang Jiaying, Wang Haibing, Chen Xinyi