Swimming Australia will send a group of 14 athletes to compete at the Para Swimming World Series in Indianapolis next month, led by nine World Championship representatives.
Paralympic gold medallists Ellie Cole, Tiffany Thomas Kane, Maddison Elliott, Lakeisha Patterson andBlake Cochrane will lead the Aussie contingent at this meet and use this competition as a stepping stone to the Para World Swimming Championships in Mexico this October.
Fellow Dolphins Emily Beecroft, Jasmine Greenwood, Braedan Jason and Paige Leonhardt will also get the chance to test their race skills and compete against a number of experienced swimmers in their respective classifications.
Dolphins veteran 25-year-old Cole said this meet would enable her to get quality race practise ahead of the Para World Championships in October.
“The World Championships are quite late in the year so it’s good be able to get another chance to race, try to maintain some consistency with our performances and make sure we’re on track to peak in October,” Cole said.
“I think no matter how old you are or how experienced you are, every race is an opportunity to learn so I love heading over to meets like the Para World Series and racing different people that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to race and I’m really looking forward to Indianapolis.”
While for swimmers like Logan Powell, Guy Harrison-Murray and Jacob Templeton, who will not swim in Mexico, this meet is a chance to gain consistency in racing and confidence at international meets.
Swimming Australia Paralympic High Performance Manager Adam Pine said the meet will also offer a development and classification opportunity for a number of Para swimmers and was a great stepping-stone in their long-term plans.
“This year is all about training and preparation for World Championships with a focus on camps and development and this competition will provide just that, plus it will tie in necessary classification opportunities for several of our swimmers,” Pine said.
“The classification component of this tour has been supported by the Commonwealth Games Association and New South Wales Institute of Sport so athletes can undergo classification to enable them to be eligible for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games team qualification.
“We are in a strong position as we enter the next four-year cycle and my hope is that we will only get stronger, especially with the activation of our mentor coach, Jan Cameron, who will visit home coaches and help to up skill them.
“This Indianapolis meet is a bonus, it’s a chance to race different rivals and practise skills in a different environment ahead of the Para World Championships in October.
“Mexico will be about performing the best we can and building a strong aerobic base in preparation for a busy three years ahead.
“Our focus is on Tokyo 2020; in 2018 there are plenty of racing opportunities with Para Pan Pacs and the Commonwealth Games and in 2019 we are looking to host one of our own Para World Series meets in April.
“This is a long-term plan and all of the events we attend will hopefully culminate in peak performance at the pinnacle of our sport, the Paralympic Games.
The swimmers will depart Australia on June 4 and the event will run from June 9 to 11 at the Indiana University Natatorium.
Swimming news courtesy of Swimming Australia.