A good portion of Australia’s elite swimming is concentrated in New South Wales (think Sydney), and with the NSW Swimming State Championship meet coming up, be ready for an explosion of entered talent that will blow away the other, smaller championships that we’ve seen the past month (like the South Australia championships last week that James Magnussen shredded).
This race is going to be similar to what we saw at the Austin Grand Prix in the United States three weeks ago – anybody who’s anybody in Australian swimming will be there, save for a few exceptions (Ian Thorpe being the notable one).
A full recap will be coming next week, but among those on the entry list include Stephanie Rice, who 6 weeks ago had a 2nd surgery on the same right shoulder that underwent a major repair in 2010.
All signs are that her return to training has gone well, but the timing of the relapse couldn’t have been worse ahead of March’s Olympic Trials.
Rice hasn’t backed down from her tough event schedule though. She’s entered in the 200 and 400 IM’s, the 100 fly, and the 200 free. The glaring omission is the 200 fly: an event that she’s never won a major championship medal in but also one of the more medal-friendly events at this year’s Olympics (and one in which she ranked 6th in the world in 2011).
My feeling is that this schedule will look more similar to that which she will attack at trials and subsequent Olympics. I think she’ll try individually to qualify for the IM races (there’s little known competition in those races domestically), and swim the 100 fly and 200 free in an attempt to earn relay qualifications.