Swimming Australia has announced an 8-swimmer roster for the open water swimming events at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in South Korea. The open water events will run from July 13th-19th, before the pool swimming events, at the Yeosu Expo Ocean Park.
Swimming Australia has said that they have not yet assigned specific events to the roster yet. In open water, there are 5km, 10km, and 25km races individually, plus a co-ed 5km team event.
Australian Open Water Roster, 2019 World Aquatics Championships:
- Kareena Lee (Noosa)
- Mackenzie Brazier (Noosa)
- Chloe Gubecka (Kawana Waters)
- Chelsea Gubecka (Yeronga Park)
- Nick Sloman (Noosa)
- Bailey Armstrong (Kawana Waters)
- Hayden Cotter (Lawnton)
- Kai Edwards (TSS Aquatics)
- Ron McKeon – head coach
- John Rodgers (Noosa)
- Robert Van Der Zant (Yeronga Park)
- Michael Sage (Kawana Waters)
Australia employed a multiple-meet qualifying procedures. Top finishers at Australia’s Open Water National Championships received funding for the first two stops of the FINA Marathon Swimming World Series in Doha, Qatar and Seychelles.
The Australian men especially had a big showing in Seychelles, where Nick Sloman finished 2nd – including beating the defending Olympic and World Champion in the 10km race Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands. The Australian men had 4 swimmers in the top 7 finishers against a deep international field, and all 4 of those swimmers were chosen for the World Championships.
The women had their best run in Doha, the opening stop of the series, where Kareena Lee took a silver medal – losing only to Brazilian star Ana Marcela Cunha by 4-tenths of a second.
Event selection will be crucial. The 10km events at the 2019 World Championships are athletes’ first opportunity to qualify for the same race at the 2020 Olympic Games. If 1 or 2 of the allotted 2 Australians finish in the top 10 at the 2019 World Championships, then all other Australians are blocked out of Olympic qualifying.
Australia has won 14 open water medals at the World Aquatics Championships, though they’ve never won an Olympic medal in the discipline. Their last World Championship medal came in 2009 when Melisssa Gorman won the women’s 5km race.
The country will announce its pool swimming roster after June’s World Swimming Trials.