Swedish National Record holder and Olympic semi-finalist Jennie Johansson is seeking greener pastures, literally, and moving to Australia to continue her training.
Johansson is a sprint breaststroke specialist who holds the Swedish Records in long course for both the 50 (30.65) and 100 (1:07.10) breaststrokes, and finished 2012 ranked 11th in the world in the latter of those races. She will be training at Southport Olympic on Australia’s Gold Coast (Queensland): a hotbed of elite swimming. Among her training partners there will be one Leiston Pickett, who was ranked one spot ahead at 10th in the world in the 100.
The head coach at Southport is Glenn Baker and his assistant Sean Eels; Eels himself is a former elite junior breaststroker in Australia. Baker has a rich history of coaching Australian international-level teams, including the 2012 Olympic Team and the World Championship squads in both 2011 and 2010.
Other big names that train with this club includes Brenton Rickard, who was the World Record holder in the 100 breaststroke until recently and is still the Australian Record holder; 2012 Olympian Melanie Schlanger; 200 butterfly Aussie Record holder Chris Wright; Nick Ffrost;Sam Ashby; and hotshot young freestyler Cameron McEvoy.
More-and-more elite swimmers are choosing Australia as a training spot, even as many in the sport have referred to a “brain drain” of coaches leaving the country.
Johansson’s home team is Upsala Simsallskap, the oldest sports club in Sweden and one of the oldest swimming clubs in the world.