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Olympic swimming trials set to commence at SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Olympic swimming trials set to commence at SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre
June 10, 2021

The nation elite swimmers are gathering in Adelaide for the 2021 Australian Swimming Trials at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre.

Set to commence as of Saturday (12th June), the pinnacle domestic event for swimming in the country, the Trials sees athletes vie for the chance to represent Australia at the Olympics Games later this year.

Always a popular event, spectators will have the chance to soak up six nights of racing, with all 67 events will being streamed live and exclusively by Swimming Australia broadcast partner Amazon Prime Video.

Coming off strong performances at the recent Australian Championships in April, Rio silver medallist, Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western), Commonwealth record holder Kaylee McKeown and 2016 Olympic gold medallist, Emma McKeon (Griffith University), will feature in the program, as well as hometown hero and defending 100m freestyle champ, Kyle Chalmers (Marion). Having secured her first Australian title in April, Southport’s Chelsea Hodges will be one to watch in the breaststroke events, while Cate Campbell and Emily Seebohm will be looking to book their spot at their fourth Olympic Games.

Belgravia training partners and 400m freestyle specialists, Brenden Hall and Lakeisha Patterson, will be aiming to make the Paralympic team and defend their gold medals, while Rowan Crothers (Yeronga Park) and young USC Spartan, Katja Dedekind will be looking to capitalise on their impressive performances from the Australian Multi-Class Championships and touch under the qualifying times. Dolphin leader and six-time Paralympic gold medallist, Ellie Cole (Knox Pymble), will be striving to make her fourth Paralympic Games as she competes in the backstroke and freestyle events.

National Head Coach of the Olympic program, Rohan Taylor, is looking forward to what the athletes will produce when they take to the blocks this weekend, advising “I honestly can’t wait for the racing to start in Adelaide on Saturday, it’s been a long time coming and the athletes are raring to go.

“The past 12 months and the lead up to the Australian Swimming Trials has no doubt been a challenging time for our swimmers and coaches, but I’m proud of the way they have learnt to adapt and gain yet another level of resilience, which will ultimately help them in these moments.

“What is most pleasing, is that even though the athletes have had to overcome these hurdles along the way, we’ve seen solid performances and times at recent events, like the Australian Championships and Sydney Open, and this is when they have been carrying heavy workloads at training.

“I know it has been a long time in between - it’s definitely going to be a tough competition.

Taylor also acknowledged those athletes in Victoria who were entered and are now unable to attend, adding “although all our Victorian high performance programs were able to leave the state prior to lockdown, we know there are a number of athletes who are no longer able to attend the event due to border restrictions. We understand this is a very difficult time for everyone in Victoria and share their disappointment.”

Swimming Australia’s Para Head Coach, Brendan Burkett, said now was the time for the athletes to trust their process and put their hard work into practice.

Burkett advised “the moment every swimmer dreams about is finally here. This is the big dance so to speak and while they need to perform at their best, we also want them to enjoy this experience and soak up every minute at Trials.

“There’ll be athletes looking to break into the team and make their debut, while there’ll also be experienced campaigners looking to make their third, fourth and even fifth Games, which is an unbelievable achievement.

“Pulling on the green and gold is a huge honour and we’re really looking forward to seeing how the team unfolds and the times they achieve across the event.”

The team announcements will take place in the evening following the racing on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th June, with the para athletes unveiled first.

Image: Kyle Chalmers at the 2018 Australian Swimming Trails at the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre (top), past trial action (middle) and fans tat the 2018 trials (below). Credit: South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

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