This weekend Eastern Beach in Geelong will play host to over 400 of the best young swimmers from all over Australia as they take part in the 2014 Open Water Australian Age Championships.
The event will showcase participants from 122 different swim clubs with Age Group Champions to be crowned in both the 5km and 10km distances and Open Champions crowned in the 5km and Multi Class 5km events.
A Junior Excellence (JX) Open Water Clinic will kick off proceedings on Friday morning, with a group of 46 young swimmers listening to tips from open water specialists and taking part in an introductory 2.5km swim along the open water course.
Then on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February, the championship races will take place with hundreds of swimmers setting out from the shoreline in search of national age group titles in the 5 and 10km events.
After taking the 10km Australian Open Water Championship title just weeks earlier at the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series, world championship representative Chelsea Gubecka will this weekend be looking to add the 16-18 years 10km open water title to her tally.
But the 15-year-old will have to keep an eye on Kawana Waters swimmer Emily Seymour who will provide tough competition for the teen.
Seymour finished just behind Olympian Melissa Gorman at the 2012 Open Water Championships and went on to represent Australia at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships that same year. After having the year off in 2013, the battle between Seymour and Gubecka will be one to watch.
In the men’s events, IPC World Champion and Paralympic gold medallist Brenden Hall will be looking to defend his 2013 title in the Multi Class 5km event. After dominating the race last year he will once again test his endurance against a quality field in Geelong.
With the Australian Age Open Water Championships doubling as the selection event for the 2014 Junior Pan Pacific Championships team, Swimming Australia’s Director of High Performance Michael Scott said he would be looking for the age group swimmers to raise the bar this year, as they fight for a spot on the Junior Australian Swim Team.
“Australia is surrounded by water and as a swimming nation we should be striving for open water success. With national age group titles and selection for the Junior Pan Pacs team on the line, I’ll be looking for the swimmers to race well and challenge their competitors to do the same this weekend,” Scott said.
“The Junior Pan Pacs have consistently been a stepping stone for emerging athletes onto the senior team so I am excited to see the next generation of open water swimmers put on some quality racing in Geelong.”
The JX Clinic will run from 11:00am – 2:00pm tomorrow, Friday February 14, at Eastern Beach in Geelong with the first championships event getting underway at 8:00am on Saturday February 15.
For more information, including a program of events and start list go to http://www.swimming.org.au/
This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of Swimming Australia.