After a rough 2012 season the Aussies needed to rebound with a positive 2013 and they did just that. The team went into the season with a new approach, which paid dividends throughout the year, culminating in a very successful campaign at the 2013 FINA World Championships where they finished fourth in the medal standings and collected the second most total medals behind the United States.
Unlike the Olympics they came away with multiple gold medal winners James Magnussen in the men’s 100 freestyle, Cate Campbell in the women’s 100 freestyle and Christian Sprenger in the men’s 100 breaststroke. Campbell and Sprenger are both coached by the 2013 Swammy Australian Coach of the Year Simon Cusack.
In November Cusack was named the Australian Institute of Sports’ Coach of the Year and also received the Queensland Academy of Sport Coach of the Year Award. Cusack not only coached Campbell and Sprenger to world championship gold, but also placed Bronte Campbell, and Tommaso D’Orsogna on the Australian World Championship team. All four of the aforementioned swimmers were also members of relay teams that set world records on the World Cup circuit this year.
Sprenger and Campbell also set multiple Australian records throughout the year. Sprenger set a new mark in the 50 breaststroke swimming a time of 26.78 in Barcelona and also set new standards in the 50 breaststroke (26.24) and the 100 breaststroke (56.14) in short course meters. Campbell set a new record in the women’s 100 freestyle posting a 52.33 at the World Championships along with a new short course record in the women’s 50 freestyle swimming a 23.47.
Cusack has had a strong effect on his swimmers in and out of the water. In article in the Australian Campbell tells the paper that she would not be competing if it wasn’t for Cusack:
“Campbell says that without Cusack’s gentle persistence she would have quit the sport when she was wading through glandular fever and post-viral fatigue with no end to it in sight. “He has stuck by me, he has stuck to his guns. He has really revolutionised the way you train for 100m,” she said.”
Brant Best is the High Performance Coach at the New South Wales Institute of Sport and the SOPAC Swim Team and guided James Magnussen to the top of the podium at the World Championships in Barcelona in the men’s 100 freestyle. Magnussen ended the year with the world’s number one ranking in the long course 100 freestyle having posted a time of 47.53. He was also a member of the mixed 4 x 50 freestyle relay that set world records on the World Cup circuit this season.
Best also placed Daniel Tranter and Jessica Ashwood on the 2013 Australian World Championship team.