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Olympians training Generation Next

24 January 2013

SWIMMING: In another bonding initiative following the London Olympics, the Australian swimming team will train alongside the country's rising stars at a six-day national camp on the Gold Coast next week.

Fresh from the success of the inaugural Super Series team event in Perth, the Australian squad will rub shoulders with the country's "generation next" across eight pools throughout the tourist strip from Monday.

More than 100 swimmers will be split into groups according to their respective events and distances.

It ensures James Magnussen will train with teenager Luke Percy who collected a gold medal and set a new Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) record in the men's 50m freestyle (22.46) in Sydney.

Overall, the sprint freestyle group will boast eight Olympians including London relay gold medallists Cate Campbell and Melanie Schlanger who will share the pool with 2013 AYOF triple winner Alexandra Purcell.

Swimming Australia head coach Leigh Nugent said the camp would be their first step in preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

"We have a large group of swimmers at this camp, a mixture of ages and experience levels, and the knowledge and skills they gain from the coaches and support staff will play a vital role in the development of the athletes to ensure they are reaching their full potential," he said.

"Before Rio, the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships and the 2018 Commonwealth Games will both be held on the Gold Coast putting our camp in an ideal location to prepare the future stars of the sport and ensure the swim team returns to the top of international swimming."

Swimming Australia ordered an independent review into the team culture after the London Olympic debacle - where they snared just one gold medal in the pool - and allegations of misbehaviour at a pre-Games camp.

The findings - along with a new set of behavioural guidelines - will be presented to the team at the Gold Coast camp.

Swimming Australia has already made moves to build harmony by introducing the Super Series team event where the hosts took on South Africa and China.

AAP

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