Aussie Jess Ashwood Absent From Pan Pac Psych Sheets

Retta Race
by Retta Race 4

August 07th, 2018 News


Although originally listed on the Australian roster for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, which start on Thursday, August 9th, 25-year-old freestyle ace Jess Ashwood  is absent from the event’s psych sheets. Citing ‘form and technical issues’ (The Courier Mail), Ashwood has withdrawn from her second elite international competition, after dropping the 2017 World Championships ‘as a means of extending her career.’

After taking multiple domestic titles since she landed on the distance freestyle scene, Ashwood made a name for herself at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, where the then-22-year-old earned bronze in the women’s 400m freestyle. Since, however, she has seen another Aussie teen in the form of Ariarne Titmus take control of the Aussie distance game, wreaking havoc across all free distances from the 200m to the 1500m.

The two battled at this year’s Commonwealth Games, where Titmus came out on top of both the 400m and 800m free between the pair. Ashwood settled for 5th in the shorter distance, almost 10 seconds off of winner Titmus’ time, although she did rebound in the 800m to collect silver behind the Tasmanian teen.

Ashwood’s performances on the Gold Coast earned her a spot on the Pan Pacs roster, which she would not have gained through the Pan Pac Trials alone. At the Pan Pac Trials, which served as the secondary qualification meet for the Tokyo competition, Ashwood wound up 7th in the 1500m final (16:42.75) and 8th in the 400m final (4:15.55).

Still representing Australia in the distance races in Tokyo this week at Pan Pacs will be the aforementioned Titmus, newly-minted 1500m freestyle national champion Kiah Melverton, newcomer Maddie Gough, and veteran Mikkayla Sheridan.

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2 years ago

Not surprised so many Aussies skipping or dropping out. As we have seen with Britain this week, it really isnt easy to juggle two events that are so highly prioritised, particularly a two week long multievent competition like Commies.

Becky D
2 years ago

I don’t speak Aussie. Any ideas what “form and technical issues” could mean?

Miss m
Reply to  Becky D
2 years ago

Ashwood has pretty severe scoliosis (check out her back X-ray on instagram). She has a very non conventional stroke as a result and has often said that it has taken some time to try and work out what works for her.

Becky D
Reply to  Miss m
2 years ago

That makes sense. Thanks.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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