In 2014, Australia hosted the Pan Pacific Championships, but this time around the green and gold Dolphins are headed for an away meet in Tokyo, Japan. Before that, however, they’re acclimatizing to the near daily 40 degree celsius (104 farenheit) in Nagaoka.
Upon arriving in Japan this week for one of four training camps over of the next three years, the Australian athletes were met with adoring fans who were excited to get the stars’ autographs. 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers was among the most popular with the Japanese aspiring swimmers.
“It’s amazing really…quite unexpected but it’s great to see their enthusiasm,” said Chalmers. “Anything we can do to inspire the next generation of swimmers here is important for Nagaoka’s future.”
National Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren and Swimming Australia’s Chief Commercial Officer Chris Forbes took a break from the pool to attend an official Mayoral welcome at the Nagaoka Council Chambers.
Excited about the partnership between Swimming Australia and Nagaoka, Verharen said, “These are really first class facilities and we are delighted to be in Nagaoka and to have the use of these amazing pools as we prepare for the Pan Pacific Championships.
“To know that we will be coming here next year before the World Championships in Korea and again, importantly before the Olympics in 2020 is a very important part of our preparations.
“I know our team is very happy here and to have such a warm welcome every day is amazing.”
The Aussie squad will remain in Nagaoka until August 6th when they depart for Tokyo.
You can read about the original announcement of Swimming Australia’s partnership with Nakaoka here.
Video courtesy of Swimming Australia.
Australia's @DolphinsAUS receive heroes welcome on their arrival into Nagaoka for their final preparations for next month's Pan Pacs in Tokyo and the first trial run for @Tokyo2020 @_mackhorton https://t.co/vKfxZZWTK6 pic.twitter.com/BNgfvAgMlz
— Ian Hanson (@hansonmedia) July 31, 2018
Big day in Nakaoka with local Mayor officially welcoming the @DolphinsAUS to the city with Team Director Jacco Verhaeen and SAL Chief Commercial Officer on hand for traditional exchange of gifts. Nakaoka to be AUS. HQ for the next 3 years.”Nakaoka is the winner,” said Verhaeren. pic.twitter.com/STKihx4613
— Ian Hanson (@hansonmedia) July 30, 2018