Australia’s next generation of swimmers will descend on the Westwave Aquatic Centre in Auckland, New Zealand this week for the 2014 Oceania Championships from Tuesday May 20 to Friday May 23.
Nineteen of the top junior swimmers from across Australia will take on competitors from the Oceania regions including New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti and Papua New Guinea.
With athletes nominated based on their selection onto the 2014 Youth Olympic Games Team or on their ranking as one of the six highest male or six highest female swimmers on the Junior Pan Pacific Championship Team, Australia will send a strong junior team across the Tasman to compete.
The team will be headlined by rising stars Kyle Chalmers (SA), Ami Matsuo (NSW) and Brianna Throssell (WA) who will all represent Australia at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China this August.
Chalmers will be looking to impress in the sprint events, after eclipsing Ian Thorpe’s previous age group record in the boy’s 15 years 100m freestyle at the 2014 Georgina Hope Swimmers Foundation Australian Age Championships, setting the new time to beat at 49.68.
In the women’s events, Matsuo and Throssell will be both be chasing a place on the podium in their respective events following successful Australian Age campaigns in April.
The Oceania Championships Head Coach Glenn Beringen said the swimmers will be able to use this meet as international race practise ahead of the major meets; the Youth Olympic Games and Junior Pan Pacific Championships, both in August this year.
“The Oceania Championships will be a key international competition preparation meet for our young swimmers. It will provide them with opportunities to learn about managing international travel as well as developing and refining competition strategies against top class competition from the Oceania region,” said Beringen.
Beringen added that many of these swimmers will be stepping up onto senior teams in the near future and a smooth transition is important for their development.
“In particular, we will be assessing their ability to successfully execute race skills under the pressure of international competition. This is vital in their development as they progress toward the senior national team.”
The Aussies will face tough competition from an experienced New Zealand team which includes most of their Commonwealth Games squad including London Olympian Matthew Stanley.
Racing will start tomorrow, May 20 with full results and information available at: http://swimmingnz.org.nz/high-performance/calendar/competition-calendar/2014/2014-oceania-championships.
Courtesy of Swimming Australia.