Courtesy: Swimming Australia
Records, gold medals and personal bests.
The Dolphins’ most successful year on the world stage saw Swimming Australia claim a host of awards at the Australian Institute of Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs) in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
In all, the Dolphins and Swimming Australia collected six trophies including High Performance Program of the Year as well as Mollie O’Callaghan being recognized for Performance of the Year for her memorable 200m freestyle world record at the World Championships in July which broke the longest-standing world record in women’s swimming.
The 19-year-old broke the bodysuit era mark of 1:52.98 set by the Italian Federica Pellegrini at the 2009 world championships in Rome, and was 0.16sec ahead of teammate Ariarne Titmus, who was an AIS finalist in the same category for her 400m freestyle world record.
O’Callaghan said: “It’s a huge honour to receive this award … I would like to thank Dean Boxall my coach, the AIS and all the other nominees … I just didn’t expect this.”
The St Peters Western swimmer couldn’t be at the Awards ahead of the Queensland State Swimming Championships at which she will contest 10 events over seven days from December 9-15 at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre, Chandler.
The ASPAs are the country’s only national awards that celebrate the best and brightest across both able and para sport, with many of the achievements of the 2023 nominees a sign of what Australian sport fans can look forward to at next year’s 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Also honoured at the Awards was Para athlete Alexa Leary who had a breakthrough campaign at the Para World Championships in Manchester to be awarded an ASPA for Emerging Athlete of the Year.
The other seven categories were spread evenly across athletes and teams from different organisations including netball, sailing, athletics, boccia, archery and cricket while Lauren Parker won the Female Para-Athlete of the Year award for her feats across both cycling and triathlon.
This year saw the most successful World Championship campaigns in decades by both our able-bodied and Paralympic Dolphins.
In a year of positive performances and growth in the High Performance environment, conversion – or improved performance from trials to a benchmark event – sat above 50 percent across both World Championships campaigns.
This translated to results including finishing 1st in gold medals in Fukuoka in the pool, a Top 6 finish on the medal table at the Para World Championships, and our best-ever result for our Open Water team at the World Aquatic Championships.
Senior teams in 2022 -2023 delivered:
- A haul of 55 medals, including 22 gold across the long course events;
- Five long course world records;
- Four short course world records.
2023 ASPAs Award Winners:
- Emerging Athlete of the Year: Alexa Leary, Swimming Australia
- Award for Leadership: Jessica Corones, Swimming Australia
- High Performance Program of the Year: The Dolphins, Swimming Australia
- Female Able-Athlete of the Year: Kaylee McKeown, Swimming Australia
- Coach of the Year: Rohan Taylor, Swimming Australia
- Performance of the Year: Mollie O’Callaghan, Swimming Australia