2017 NSW STATE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Friday, March 3rd – Sunday, March 6th
- Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Center (SOPAC)
- Prelims at 9am local (5pm Eastern night before)/Finals at 6pm local Thurs/Fri (2am Eastern), 5:30pm local Sat (1:30am Eastern)
- Meet Central
- Entry Lists
- Meet Preview
- Results – Meet Mobile: 2017 NSW State Open Championships
We noted during our 2017 NSW State Open Championships meet preview that double world champion Mitch Larkin was mysteriously absent from the entry lists and considered the possibility it was linked to the backstroking specialist’s recent change to Commercial swimming club. It turns out that indeed was the case.
As reported today by The Australian, delays in the paperwork involved in Larkin’s moving from St. Peters Western to coach Simon Cusack’s new training base of the Chandler Centre caused Larkin to miss the NSW entry deadline. The report states that Larkin had ‘told Swimming Australia about the issue, but had not contacted the NSW association directly until the day after the deadline.’
Cusack didn’t mince words when expressing his thoughts on the issue. “They seemed more concerned about policy and procedure than about getting a world champion into a swimming race,’’ he said.
“I know there are a lot bigger meets that take entries up until 24 or 48 hours before the meet starts and I would have thought it was in the best interests of Australian swimming that he be allowed to compete.’’ (The Australian)
Swimming NSW Chief Executive Mark Heathcote is quoted as saying that, “It’s about providing fairness to all competitors.”
“As much as I would like to have Mitch Larkin swimming,” he said, “we need to stick to our policy. We have to draw the line somewhere. There are other people who missed out.’’
Larkin isn’t the only Olympian missing from the NSW competition. Although listed on the entry lists, Rio champion Kyle Chalmers didn’t swim his 100m freestyle race and is doubtful for the 200m free due to illness.