This weekend, all eyes (outside of Europe) will be squarely focused on Australia, as there is a pair of scorching meets happening down-under.
On Friday (today Australia time) kicks off the South Australia Open State Championships at the incredible $100-million-plus Adelaide Swim Centre that will play host to Australia’s Olympic Trials in just under two months. Don’t be surprised if there are very good times put up – few swimmers will be rested, but for that kind of money, this has to be a fast course.
The stars are out en masse to get as much experience in this sparkling new facility as possible, after so many years of major Australian meets being held at the Olympic pool in Sydney.
Among those in attendance include James Magnussen, Eamon Sullivan, and Matthew Abood, who will have great sprint freestyle battles.
Illuminating the women’s side of the meet will be Emily Seebohm who is finally healthy (knock on wood) and swimming well – notably a 59.3 in the 100 back at the Queensland counterpart to this meet in December. Sophie Edington and local star Whitney Ireland (an 18-year old backstroker with eyes on the other 100 spot for London) will be there to challenge.
We will post live results when they’re available. The Swimming South Australia is having some issues at present.
Also, out east on the Gold Coast, don’t miss out on the Miami Superchallenge that will feature $2,600 in prizes. The meet has attracted a huge portion of the Chinese National Team, headlined by World Record holder Sun Yang. Joining him will be a team made up of young firecracker men’s IM’er Shun Wang, an Asian Record holder, as well as Liuyang Jiao, Yi Tang, Yiwen Shao and Jing Zhao. They will match up against some of the best in Australia (Cameron McEvoy, Melanie Schlanger, Sam Ashby, Leiston Pickett, Brenton Rickard, and Katie Goldman).
The young-star to watch here, besides McEvoy, is 16-year old backstroker Bonnie MacDonald. She’s got great potential for the Australians in 2016, if not 2012. There are also a few Brits here, including breaststroker Michael Jamieson.