When Australia announced its roster for the 20214 Commonwealth Games late Sunday night, the 2014 Australian 50 free National Champion Eamon Sullivan had an asterisk next to his name.
That asterisk implies special notice that Sullivan’s inclusion will be pending the result of some medical evaluations between now and the late-July event. Those evaluations surround some lingering shoulder injuries for the 28-year old Sullivan.
He has been battling some shoulder injuries, having had two shoulder surgeries of late. His success in Brisbane last week, however, will be followed with another expected “clean-up” procedure next week – one that Sullivan and his camp hope won’t keep him out of the Commonwealth Games.
He took about 18 months away from the sport after the 2012 Olympics, where he was involved in the infamous pre-Olympic training camp “stilnox six” debacle. He’s now back, though, and focused solely on the 50 free.
Though the likes of Cameron McEvoy and James Magnussen have become the focus of Australian sprint fans, Sullivan is still a former World Record holder in the 50, and as we continue to see around the world: those guys just don’t go away until they’re ready. They can hang on as 50 meter specialists (Cielo, Bousquet, Schoeman) well into their 30’s and through plenty of the inevitable surgeries for swimmers of a certain age.
As of now, Swimming Australia is playing a ‘wait and see’ game. A spokesperson says that it’s ‘too soon to tell’ if they would give Matthew Abood the spot in the 50 free if Sullivan is a ‘no-go.’ Abood tied with Magnussen for 3rd in the individual final on Sunday, but then lost a swim-off to earn a spot on the roster.