Will much fanfare, but little suspense, Swimming Australia announced the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre as the host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Trials. The Trials will be held from February 28th-March 3rd, and the centre will later that year be the host of the Commonwealth Games themselves from April 4th-15th.
This gives the Australians an off-year trial of a new timing for their qualifying meet. Scheduling their trials a month shy of the event themselves puts them on par with their swimming arch-rivals the Americans, who have used this schedule with great success for decades. Australia has historically planned their trials meets 3-4 months before the performance event.
“This change will result in consistent racing in the months leading up to trials. Our system has been structured around the southern hemisphere summer, we now have facilities in warmer places and are able to host our trials closer to the benchmark events which are typically during a northern hemisphere summer.”
The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre is undergoing a renovation in preparation for the Commonwealth Games, which will include a temporary roof as compared to a $20 million permanent roof. That should help mitigate the risk of rainy, cold weather that struck when Australia hosted the 2014 Pan Pac Championships in the same facility.
“The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre is a state of the art location and will no doubt be a fantastic backdrop for the athletes as they race at the biggest domestic event on the swimming calendar,” Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said.
“I would like to extend my thanks to GOLDOC, Tourism and Events Queensland and Commonwealth Games Australia for their support in bringing this event to the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, and the ongoing support of our principal partners Optus and Hancock Prospecting, this is a great result for swimming.”
“We are fortunate in that Swimming tickets at the Commonwealth Games were in high demand and so to have the Swimming trials at the same venue as the Commonwealth Games, and just five weeks prior, will be a great opportunity for anyone that missed out on tickets to be a part of the experience.
“The 2018 Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Trials will provide our swimmers with an ideal opportunity to perform in the venue just five weeks prior to the Commonwealth Games in front of a home audience.
“It will provide spectators with a wonderful opportunity to see the Aussies race live before they take on some of the strongest swimming nations in the world and, we are pleased that our broadcast partner Channel 7 will be broadcasting this event live to sports and swimming fans right around Australia,” Anderson said.