While the Australians who competed at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan are still living under quarantine upon arriving home, their fellow swimmers are also feeling the sting of increased coronavirus-related restrictions.
Australia’s MLC Duel in the Pool, originally set to see 66 elite junior athletes compete in a kickoff to their Paris 2024 Olympic cycle, has been officially canceled due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
The event was slated to take place in Queensland August 18th – 21st and was an opportunity for younger stars to shine after meets such as the World Junior Championships and World University Games were postponed.
General Manager of Performance Pathways, Jamie Salter, said in the cancellation notice, “It’s disappointing we couldn’t hold the MLC Duel in the Pool as planned and I feel for all the athletes and coaches who were looking forward to pulling on the green and gold.
“Unfortunately, with so many states affected by Covid-19 and restrictions in place, we didn’t have a choice but to cancel the event.”
Among the athletes set to race was Newmarket Racers’ Elizabeth Dekkers, the 16-year-old 200m fly specialist who owns a lifetime best of 2:07.25. She just missed out on an Olympic berth, placing 2nd at the nation’s Trials behind Brianna Throssell but missing out on the qualification time.
Teenage speedster Flynn Southam of Bond was also set to take to the pool, with the 15-year-old on a renewed journey since opting out of the Trials to tend to mental health.
According to Queensland Health, the state has a total of 1,929 COVID-19 confirmed since the beginning, with deaths totaling 7. There are 156 active COVID-19 cases in the state.