Swim talent selected for Australian Youth Olympic Festival31 October 2012
Thirty-six of Australia’s best young swimmers have been selected to compete at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) in Sydney this January, in a meet that has proven to be a strong pathway to Olympic selection.
Last held in January 2009, six swimmers from that team in Mitchell Larkin, James Roberts, Daniel Tranter, Jessica Ashwood, Bronte Campbell and Leiston Pickett went on to represent Australia at the London Olympics this year.
The 2013 AYOF to be held from January 16-20 at Sydney Olympic Park, will see swimmers aged between 13 and 17 compete against the likes of China, New Zealand, Brazil, Hungary, Canada, Japan and a combined Oceania team.
Swimming Australia’s High Performance Youth Coach Vince Raleigh, who will also look after the team as Head Coach for the meet, says the opportunity for these young athletes to race internationally is a huge step in their development.
“Racing international opposition is very different from an Age championships, or even State Teams event and to get the opportunity to do that in Sydney is a really good experience for these young athletes,” said Raleigh.
“We know that performing well on this team can play an important step in the pathway for a young athlete, and with China, Japan and Canada set to be some of the stronger competitors, the chance to race these nations is vital at this stage of their young careers.”
The 2013 team will see Australia’s best 1500m swimmer for the year, 16-year-old Mack Horton line up alongside multiple Australian Age Group medallist and record holder Nicholas Groenewald, while 13-year-old Shayna Jack from Brisbane will be the youngest on the team.
Gold Coast teenager Brittany McEvoy, the younger sister of debutant Olympian Cameron, will represent Australia for the second time having swum against New Zealand in the Trans-Tasman series in 2012, while fellow Queenslander Alanna Bowles will be keen to continue her good form which saw her dominate the recent State Teams Short Course meet.
The Australian swimming team for the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival:
|Mack Horton||16|| Melbourne Vicentre
|Blake Jones||15||Southport Olympic
||17|| Melbourne Vicentre
||16||Pelican Waters Caloundra||QLD|
||17||St Peters Western||QLD|
||15||River City Rapids||QLD|
||16||Sans Souci Sea Devils||NSW|