Swimming Australia has released the start lists for the 2012 EnergyAustralia Australian Swimming Championships, which will take place from March 15th-22nd at the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Center. This meet will serve as both a National Championship, as well as the trials for the 2012 Olympic squad.
A full preview will come as the meet nears, but here’s a few of the more interesting entries:
Michael Klim will be swimming the 100 free and, as promised, the 100 fly. He currently is seeded 14th (50.15) and 11th (53.53) in those events, respectively. The 100 fly is sort of a “nothing-to-lose” entry for him, as it comes in the meet schedule after the 100 free (where he’s made his best stand) and he’s opted not to enter the 50 free.
James Magnussen has entered only the 50 and 100 freestyles in the meet. He had previously alluded that he might shoot for an 800 free relay spot, without being concerned about the individual. It seems as though he’s decided that the risk to an individual berth 100 free, where Australia is exceedingly deep but Magnussen is the defending World Champion, was too great – the 200 comes before the 100 in the schedule. The 50 comes later, so he’ll toss a swim at the wall and hope it sticks there, though a second swim is unlikely as his 50, though improved, is not great.
Matt Targett has added the 100 fly to his 50 free-100 free schedule. He seems like a good candidate to earn a spot on the 400 free relay, if not the individual, with his 2nd-seeded 100 free time of 48.66. He’s also the top seed in the 50, with a 21.98 done in a mid-season meet earlier this year, and could be an Olympic medal candidate in that race in London.
But he has also added the 100 fly to his schedule, which is an event that he’s stayed far away from recently. He’s one of the best 50 butterfliers in the world (and is the National Record holder, though he’s not swimming it at these Trials). He’s swum the race only once since the 2008 Olympic Trials – and that was just a month ago at a minor meet to secure his cut. He was a 52 in the event all the way back in 2007, but is only seeded at a 55. Could be something good coming out of him there.
Ian Thorpe’s entries give no big surprises. He’s entered in the 100 and 200 free just as he’s promised, though some eyebrows were raised when he swam a 400 free in Switzerland last weekend. He’s seeded 19th in the 200, and 28th in the 100, with a top-6 finish needed to earn a relay spot. An interesting perspective from Sports Illustrated’s Nic Zacardi via Twitter: in 2008, Cullen Jones made the 400 free relay as a 10th seed, and that Erik Vendt once made the American 800 free relay as the 16th seed.
Stephanie Rice has sliced down her schedule, as expected, to the 200 fly, the 200 free, and the 200/400 IM’s. That means no entry in the 100 fly where she ranked 16th in the World in 2011 as she battles through repeated shoulder problems. Oddly, she also has a 50 fly entry. That’s her last entry of the meet, so it will probably be a “play-by-ear” sort of thing, but expect a scratch.
Libby Trickett in her own comeback will swim her usual schedule of 50/100 free and the 100 fly.
Leisel Jones has done an about-face from what we’ve seen from her since last summer, and is entered in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. At Worlds, she only swam the 100. The 200 could be just a flyer, as it comes well after the 100 in the event schedule, and perhaps an eventual scratch anyway.
Emily Seebohm, who has the apparent versatility to swim close to any event on the Olympic schedule if she wanted to, is limiting herself to entries in the 50/100/200 backstrokes, the 100 free, and the 200 IM. That means no 200 freestyle (read: 800 free relay) for her. That race has never been a major part of her schedule, but before an illness-plagued 2011 season sidetracked her meteoric rise, it was an event that she showed potential in (1:58.93 in 2010). She’s still got plenty on her hands with the above, however.
Melissa Gorman, who has already qualified for the Olympics in the open water 10km, is sticking with her plan of trying to pull off a 1500-10km double.
This meet will allow visitors to swim, which includes Australian-trained Swede Therese Alshammar, who’s entered in the 50 free. New Zealand’s Hayley Palmer, Papua New Guinea’s Ryan Pini, South Africa’s Jessica Pengelly, and New Zealand’s Daniel Bell will each make cameo appearances in the meet.