Commonwealth Games Australia has announced a 70-strong swimming team for next month’s 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The team was announced on the Gold Coast following the four-day Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Trials at the Optus Aquatic Centre.
Made up of 49 able-bodied swimmers and 21 Para-sport athletes, Queensland dominated team selection with 40, followed by NSW (10), Victoria (nine), WA (six) and SA (five).
The two youngest members of the team are 13-year-old Jasmine Greenwood (Bay and Basin) and 16-year-old Kaylee McKeown while the oldest members of the group are Holly Barratt (UWA) and Matt Levy (North Sydney), 31.
Commonwealth Games Australia Team Executive Andrew Baildon – a five time Commonwealth Games swimming gold medallist, congratulated the team, saying:
“We have witnessed a great few days up here on the Gold Coast at the Australian Swimming Trials.
“There has been some amazing performances throughout the trials and it has really given us a great taste of the action we can expect to see from our team in April. It is very exciting.
“I know how special it is to be named on an Australian Commonwealth Games Team and I feel extremely humbled to welcome these 70 swimmers on to Team AUS for Gold Coast 2018.”
National head coach Jacco Verhaeren said: “I am very pleased with the people that qualified. I think we’ve got, almost without exception I’d say, the best people in their best events.
“I think that’s important because if you want to defend titles and want to make the most out of the medal prospects in five weeks’ time you need your best people there.
“We want a full team and we want to compete in every event for medals. It’s as simple as that.
“The A times are the reference, top eight in the world is our goal. You know that’s our yardstick for how we track and what we want to achieve.
“And that will be the yardstick as well for Pan Pacs later on in the year because then we’re going back to A qualifying times without any exemption.
“But this is Commonwealth Games and it’s always great actually to be able to select a little bit of a broader team.
“It’s great that they can grow experience in a multidisciplinary environment like the Olympics really; and it’s one of the very rare events you actually have where you can practice being in that environment and definitely Rio and London 2012 showed that that is really necessary.”
Verhaeren was excited with the crop of new faces on the Games team, praising Swimming Australia’s Pathways Program.
“We are working with our pathway performance staff, Jamie Salter and Glen Berringen and they work hard on developing systems, together with the State head coaches to basically pick up any young swimmer that has that potential,” said Verhaeren.
“We’re definitely trying to get more systemised and pick up these guys.
“James Magnussen was one of those guys actually as well.
“Three years before the Olympics he was invisible and then suddenly he is picked up and goes to a great coach and great program and becomes the world’s fastest swimmer.
“And sometimes it can work like that and with so many fantastic facilities and school swimming and everything, there’s still a lot (of talent) out there that we still have to explore.”
Australian Para-swimming team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games:
- Jesse Aungles (SA)
- Emily Beecroft (Vic)
- Rohan Bright (NSW)
- Blake Cochrane (Qld)
- Ellie Cole (Qld)
- Timothy Disken (Vic)
- Katherine Downie (WA)
- Daniel Fox (Qld)
- Jasmine Greenwood (NSW)
- Matthew Haanappel (Vic)
- Brenden Hall (Qld)
- Timothy Hodge (NSW)
- Mitchell Kilduff (NSW)
- Paige Leonhardt (Qld)
- Matthew Levy (NSW)
- Ashleigh McConnell (Vic)
- Lakeisha Patterson (Qld)
- Logan Powell (Qld)
- Liam Schluter (Qld)
- Madeleine Scott (Vic)
- Tiffany Thomas Kane (NSW)
Head Coach: Jacco Verhaeren
Mentor Coaches: Rohan Taylor, Jan Cameron
Coaches: Peter Bishop (SA), Michael Bohl (QLD), Dean Boxall (QLD), Harley Connolly (QLD), Simon Cusack (QLD), Nathan Doyle (QLD), Craig Jackson (VIC), Adam Kable (NSW), David Lush (QLD), Chris Mooney (QLD), Chris Nesbit (QLD), Vince Raleigh (QLD), Richard Scarce (QLD), Gavin Stewart (NSW), Yuriy Vdovychenko (ACT)
By Swimming Australia