Australian Olympic Open Water Journey Continues This Weekend in Adelaide

2020 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships

The 2020 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships will be held this weekend in Adelaide. While the women’s race is significant primarily for bragging rights, for the men the race takes on special importance: this will be the next step in Olympic qualification.

Australia’s spot in the women’s Olympic marathon swim was secured by Kareena Lee when she finished 7th in the 10km event at last year’s World Championships. There were, however, no Australian men in the top 10, which kicks them to the Olympic qualifier in order to earn their rights for Tokyo.

At the World Championships, Kai Edwards finished in 14th place, about 9 seconds out of Olympic qualification, while Nicholas Sloman was in 21st place, more than a minute away.

The first 4 Australian male finishers in the 10km race this weekend will be funded by Swimming Australia to compete at the February 15th FINA Marathon Swim World Series event in Doha, Qatar. The top 2 finishers in Doha (athletes are able to self-fund their trips and still make the top 2) earn the rights to race at the Open Water Olympic Qualifier event in Fukuoka, Japan on May 30th and 31st.

From there, the top finishing Australian male, presuming he finishes in the top 9, will earn a spot in Tokyo. Even if the top male Australian doesn’t finish in the top 9, he is almost guaranteed a spot at the Olympics because of the IOC’s continental qualifying system. That system guarantees a male continental quota spot from Oceania to the highest-finish swimmer at the qualifying event (though it can’t be from a country that already has a swimmer in the top 9). The lack of depth in Oceania swimming all-but-guarantees that spot to Australia – there were no other entries from the continent in the men’s 10km race at the World Championships, though there will likely be a couple at the Olympic qualifier.

The Australians will have some company as they race for Olympic spots via a group of international athletes in participation. That includes the top U.S. open water swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky, American Nick Norman, a group of Japanese swimmers, and the defending Olympic champion Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands on the men’s side.

The women’s group will be joined by Americans Haley Anderson, Katie Campbell, and Ashley Twichell, and will also welcome a group of Japanese swimmers.

Weather is expected to be about perfect for open water swimming this weekend in Adelaide with mostly sunny skies and high temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lows around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. According to, current water temperatures in South Australia are around 70 degrees F/21 degrees C, well within the same (and ideal) ranges for competition.

The meet will feature a number of age group races, with a full schedule available here. Below is a schedule of only open age events.

Saturday, January 25th

  • Men’s open 10km – 7:30 AM
  • Women’s open 10km – 10:15 AM

Sunday, January 25th

  • Men’s open 5km – 9:20 AM
  • Women’s open 5km – 9:25 AM

Monday, January 26th

  • Men’s open 5km time trial – 7:30 AM
  • Women’s open 5km time trial – 9:10 AM
  • Mixed open team relay – 4×1.25km – 12:50 PM

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3 years ago

Are the Seychelles in Oceania- they are off Africa?

3 years ago

Great to see international level competitors making the trip down under, will really add to what is always a great weekend of openwater swimming. Good luck to all competing. Age group 7.5km races double as selection for Junior Aussie team as well so plenty to race for all weekend.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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