Most of the ‘double duty’ Australian swim team will camp in Spain for two weeks between the World Championships and Commonwealth Games before joining their compatriots in Chartres, France for final preparations.
With the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England now only a month away, most of the Australian team has opted to stay in Europe after the World Championships rather than take the grueling 26+ hour flight home to Australia, just to turn around and return in a few weeks.
Most of the Australian team will spend two weeks in Spain (landing in Barcelona), then head to Chartres, France. There, they will meet up with the open water swimmers, para-swimmers, and other athletes coming over from Australia rather than Budapest.
The two major exceptions are Australia’s two swimmers with ongoing health issues. Sprint freestyler Shayna Jack returned to Australia to undergo surgery on her broken hand and will rejoin the team in Chartres, while Lani Pallister remains in Budapest in quarantine after a positive test for COVID-19. Pallister’s plan is to remain in Budapest until she clears quarantine, and then to travel straight with the Australian open water team to Chartres.
Of the 34 Australian swimmers who swam in the pool at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships, all but three are scheduled to swim at the Commonwealth Games as well. The exceptions are Jack Cartwright, Moesha Johnson, and Leah Neale.
They will be joined by 15 other poolswimmers in Chartres in preparations for the Commonwealth Games. That includes swimming stars Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus, Holly Barratt, and Mina Atherton, plus pop star Cody Simpson, who will make his international debut for Australia in the 100 fly. Also joining the group will be Ben Armbruster, Chelsea Hodges, Bronte Job, Taylor McKeown, Alexandria Perkins, Kieren Pollard, Flynn Southam, Samuel Williamson, Josh Wong, and Bradley Woodward.
Along with a group of Para-swimmers, Australia will send an integrated team of 76 to the Commonwealth Games.
A short-handed Australian team, made shorter by health issues, still wound up 2nd on the medals table at the World Championships. They won 6 gold, 9 silver, and 2 bronze medals, placing them behind on the United States’ 17/12/16. Even without a number of their stars, Australia had more gold medals in Budapest than they did at the last LCM World Championship meet in Gwangju in 2019 (albeit fewer total medals).
Australia has historically been the dominant team in swimming at the Commonwealth Games. In 2018, they won 28 out of 50 gold medals on offer, more than all other nations combined, and 73 out of 149 total medals offered. Each country can enter three swimmers in every event at the Commonwealth Games, as compared to just two at the World Championships.