Home away from home in north England
18 July 2012
Home to the likes of Wayne Rooney, Alex Fergusson, and Oasis, the Australian Swim Team will also be Manchester locals in the lead up to the Games, with all 45 pool swimmers having now arrived for the traditional pre-Olympic staging camp.
Training at the same venue in which Australia won 27 gold medals at 2002 Commonwealth Games, James Magnussen, Stephanie Rice, Leisel Jones, Eamon Sullivan and co have all now arrived to swim off some jet lag and begin taper for the Games.
Having also competed here in Manchester at the 2008 World Short Course Championships, the ‘Northern’ capital is well known to many of the team and Swimming Australia Head Coach Leigh Nugent says it’s the ideal place to fine tune preparations.
“A number of our athletes have been in Europe preparing over the last couple of weeks, with camps in Spain, France and Switzerland and those who came direct from Australia flew over at the weekend,” said Nugent.
“We used Manchester as a base in 2009 ahead of the World Championships and will be back here again in 2014 before the Commonwealth Games. It’s the perfect place to stage before heading down to London on Sunday and everyone is training well and looking forward to getting to the Games.”
The team was officially welcomed to the city by the Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Naeem UL Hassan on Monday night and will participate in a number of community activities including a swimming school gala on Wednesday.
Most swimmers will continue to train twice a day at the Manchester Aquatic Centre for the remainder of this week before bussing down to London on Sunday straight into the Athletes’ Village.
Lachlan Searle in Manchester