After spending the past week acclimatising to the conditions in England, the Australian Para-swimming team has concluded their staging camp in Manchester and will now begin the journey to London ahead of the 2019 World Para-swimming Championships.
For coach Nathan Doyle, who has five swimmers – Blake Cochrane, Braeden Jason, Katja Dedekind, Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson and Keira Stephens – competing, the focus has been on his athletes’ recovery from travel and having everything they need to succeed on the world stage.
“The last six days have flown by,” Doyle said. “We came in after a long-haul flight and it’s always difficult to make those adjustments, so we had a few zombies walking around on day one and two.
“We’ve been really trying to get them acclimatised to the English weather. It’s certainly different to back home and the athletes have now been getting some quality work done, getting ready to race, and I guess looking forward to flicking the switch and getting ready for London.
“We have a great team of biomechanists, physiologists and sports and conditioning staff, and their job is to make sure the athletes are as acclimatised as possible, and making those adjustments where needed. It’s great to have a team around the team all designed with a performance outcome.”
Training at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, Dolphins leader Monique Murphy said the team had strengthened their resilience over the course of the staging camp and cannot wait to hit the road to the country’s capital.
“It’s been a fantastic staging camp,” Murphy said. “It’s a great facility here, but we’re definitely ready for a change of scenery and to put our race suits on.
“Every day in Manchester, we’ve just tried keeping that stamina up from the training prep that we’ve done, and focussed on all those little one percenters that we can do now. The hard training is done, so just concentrating on those little finishes, tumble turns, dives, so we can put together that perfect race next week.”
As the countdown to the World Championships continues, Wednesday night in Manchester marked a special occasion for the team’s newest members as they received their first gold cap. After being presented with hers in 2015, Murphy said she understood well what that they were feeling.
“The rookie induction last night was really special. My induction was here in Manchester just four years ago, so I could definitely relate to how they were feeling, and it’s always exciting to welcome new Dolphins onto the team.”
The 2019 World Para-swimming Championships run from 9-15 September at the London Aquatics Centre. You can watch all the action live via the 7plus app thanks to Channel 7.
By Swimming Australia