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2016 Australian Olympic Swimming Team selected

14 April 2016

SWIMMING: World Champions, Olympians and exciting young debutants will get the chance to prove themselves in the pool at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, after being selected on to the 2016 Australian Olympic Team.

Thirty-four (34) athletes have been named to the Swimming Section on Thursday night at the conclusion of the week-long Australian Championships in Adelaide, which doubled as the selection trial.

There is a strong blend of experience and youth with 21 swimmers to make their debut, while 13 athletes will become multiple Olympians including five who are off to their third Games. The oldest swimmer is five-time London Olympic medallist Alicia Coutts at 28, while Tamsin Cook is the youngest female and Kyle Chalmers the youngest male, both at 17.

While the Team members amongst them have won nine Olympic medals; two gold, four silver and three bronze.

The Team is headlined by dual individual world champions Mitch Larkin, Emily Seebohm and Bronte Campbell and her dual Olympic medallist sister Cate.

For set-to-be triple Olympian Cate, the last week at the Australian Swimming Championships has been a chance to get back to her best after a shoulder reconstruction last year.

The 2015 World Championships bronze medallist, where Bronte won gold, said she’s looking forward to the chance to face her biggest rival in another world class showdown this August.

“It’s going to be tough, there’s no denying but we get to swim a relay together which has always been our dream. It’s the one time we get to compete with each other instead of against each other and to be able to do that in Rio will be an absolute dream come true,” Campbell said.

“You’d think that third time round at an Olympics it would get easier, but it doesn’t, it gets harder and harder and more and more special each time. It means so much more to me each time I go because you know how much time and effort you’ve put into the past for years.”

Hoping to join Cate as an Olympic medallist is Cameron McEvoy.

Nicknamed the Professor, the Gold Coast based swimmer is aiming to leave bigger and stronger opponents in his wake after qualifying for Rio in three individual events, the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle.

It’s been a tremendous week for the 21-year-old, who became the first male swimmer in Australian history to win the freestyle treble at the same competition in the same year and he set the fastest 100m time in history in a non-textile suit.

“I’m ecstatic. I’ve never had such a good week before in the pool. All three times that I’ve done I’m extremely happy with them personally. They all rank me high up in the world in terms of world rankings and I can’t fault that leading into Rio. It’s a nice position to be in for these three events,” McEvoy said.

After making his Olympic debut at London 2012 at the age of 17, he said his previous Games experience will help him prepare for the colour and excitement of Rio de Janeiro.

“It’s going to be a very different experience. Every time you put on the green and gold it’s never going to diminish in importance to anyone. I’m also really excited to be able to do that in as many events as I can. I get 11 more races than what I did in London, that’s exciting, not that I’m counting!” said McEvoy.

Australian Swimming Team Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren is pleased with how the athletes are looking with only 113 days to go until the Games open.

“The Team is shaping up perfectly,” Verhaeren said. “We’ve got a great group together, we’ve had some great races here at the National Championships.”

He’s also excited with the mix of Olympians, World Champions and excited rookies.

“I think that’s quite unique in a swim team, that you can have that. Georgia Bohl has never really raced internationally and her first big race is going to be at the Olympics so that’s very special. She doesn’t seem to be fazed at all so that’s good but no doubt she can pick up a lot from long time campaigners Alicia Coutts and Bronte Barratt,” Verhaeren said.

He said the Australian Swimming Championships, which doubled as the Rio trials, has been a great way to see how each athlete is shaping up.

“It’s here at trials that you really show what your capabilities are and being able to convert that on the bigger stage, that’s the goal,” Verhaeren said.

“For Cam (McEvoy) his times for starters are phenomenal, particularly the 50 and 100 freestyle, it puts him in a good position. But I think we all know and learnt that positions don’t mean anything and for him now and for all of us it’s really important to stick to the process.”

Several powerful swimming nations including the mighty USA still have to do their Trials but the signs are good with less than four months until Rio. At the end of the Trials, Australia is ranked in 25 medal positions (10 gold, 9 silver, 6 bronze) in current world rankings in Olympic events.

Swimmers James Roberts, James Magnussen and Matthew Abood have been identified as members of the 4 x 100 men’s freestyle relay team should that team be awarded a quota spot by FINA once rankings are finalised on 31 May.

The Australian men missed the top 12 ranking at the World Championships (along with the USA) so now need to ensure they are ranked in the next four best nations for Rio. Once the quota place is confirmed Swimming Australia will nominate these swimmers to the AOC and their selection will be considered.

2016 Team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller is thrilled with what she has been seeing from Australia’s highest profile and over history most successful sport.

“Tonight is an exciting milestone. Swimming has spearheaded so many of our Games success and I’m excited to see what chapter these athletes can add to our proud history.

“With only 113 days to go until the Olympics, it’s fantastic to see the Team taking shape with the 34 swimmers selected today bringing our total Team size so far to 125 athletes from 10 sports.”

Australia expects to send around 450 athletes to the Games, with the full Team to be finalised by mid-July.

Full Team selected on April 14:

Complete bios on all swimmers here>>>
Jessica Ashwood - 400m Freestyle, 800m Freestyle
Bronte Barratt - 200m Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Joshua Beaver - 200m Backstroke
Georgia Bohl - 100m Breaststroke, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Bronte Campbell - 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 4 x 100m Freestyle, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Cate Campbell - 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 4 x 100m Freestyle, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Kyle Chalmers - 100m Freestyle
Tamsin Cook - 400m Freestyle
Alicia Coutts - 200m Individual Medley
Brittany Elmslie -4 x 100m Freestyle
Blair Evans - 400m Individual Medley
Thomas Fraser-Holmes - 400m Individual Medley, 200m Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Madeline Groves - 100m , 200m Butterfly, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Jacob Hansford - 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Belinda Hocking - 200m Backstroke
Mack Horton - 400m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Grant Irvine - 200m Butterfly
Mitch Larkin - 100 & 200m Backstroke, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Travis Mahoney - 400m Individual Medley
Cameron McEvoy - 50m, 100m & 200m Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
David McKeon - 400m Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Emma McKeon - 200m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 4 x 100m Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Taylor McKeown - 100 & 200m Breaststroke, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Jack McLoughlin - 1500m Freestyle
Keryn McMaster - 400m Individual Medley
David Morgan - 200m Butterfly, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Leah Neale - 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Kotuku Ngawati - 200m Individual Medley
Jake Packard - 100m Breaststroke, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Joshua Palmer - 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Emily Seebohm - 100m Backstroke, 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Daniel Smith - 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Brianna Throssell - 200m Butterfly
Madison Wilson - 100m Backstroke

ANNIE KEARNEY
olympics.com.au

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