Three World Champions & A Legend Lead School Of 38 Dolphins To 2015 World Titles

Fast over 1500 club: Grant Hackett and Mack Horton are teammates in 2015 - with a big Dolphin from another age, Daniel Kowalski

Three defending World Champions and a legend lead at Australia team of 38 to the World Championships in Kazan this August after eight days of racing at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships

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Three defending World Champions and a legend lead at Australia team of 38 to the World Championships in Kazan this August after eight days of racing at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships

Comments

Danjohnrob

Wow, Kyle Chalmers wasn’t even born when Grant Hackett won his first World title! I had to stop and re-read that line. It’s not like Hackett is old by any stetch of the imagination; I suppose he’s old enough to be his father, but he would have had to be a senior in high school, right? I wish them both well in Kazan!

Personal Best

Interesting… but pleasing selection choices, for the most part.

No individual swimmer selected for the men’s 200 breast.
Wonder if Sprenger would be allowed to contest if he chooses, providing he posts a time between now and then.
The Grand Prix events are on but I don’t know how it works in terms of event selection.

Wonder if Seebohm will swim the 200IM – If not McMaster and Wallace are there.

Harrison missed selection. 1 berth in the men’s 1500… or will someone step up?

Verram

A lot of people were selected purely for relay reasons so all 6 relays better perform in Kazan.. Because many national titleholders and medal winners were overlooked in favour of relay choices

CT

Wow! Horton 14.44. Believe that is a faster time than Hackett at same age. How good is this kid?

CT

This is an incredibly strong Dolphins team. No fewer than 9 swimmers with a world best time for the year. There are also at least another dozen ranked in the top five across all disciplines.

CT

Verram. On paper our relays look very strong for both male and female. Perhaps a question mark over the medley only.

CT

SV. How do I access April 10 posts?

CT

Just watched Mack’s swim. Took it out fast on the back of his strong 400m early in the meet. Was on world record pace up until the 600m. He then settled into the race and as the commentators said “he came home like a train” Nicole Livingston predicted 14.44 (the exact time) 100 ms out. Hackett calls him”the real deal” and believes he will win an Olympic gold medal. I have followed Mack since he was fifteen and slaying them at junior level. He is something special.

felixdangerpants

She predicted his time at the 1400 mark, hardly a prediction. Sprenger won’t be swimming a 200 again so there won’t be an Aussie in that. Certainly won’t be a second Aussie in the 1500. I think they’ve picked the right team. Coutts didn’t deserve a spot neither did Tranter so they were tough but fair. An absolutely outstanding nationals for Bohl & his team but they have been the past 3 years & then failed miserably internationally so will be interesting to see if they can manage to perform. What I don’t like about Aussie nationals is how they don’t have to perform in heats & finals. Groves & Irvine in 200fly, Baker in 200bk to name a few wasted no energy in heats & semis & while they may have got them the time in the final that is not the way you can swim at worlds….so while Groves may be fastest in the world this year she would be far from my fav to win that at world champs when her semi time of 2.11 wouldn’t even make semis at worlds.

CT

Hard marker Felix. I only meant that she predicted the exact time(14:44) to the second. Get your point about the slow semi times. Coaches need to be tougher on their swimmers and ask them to step it up in the heats and semis. Who is Bohl coach of? Will not be the same not having Coutts on out team after so long. Her powers are going. Should retire (imo)

commonwombat

Agree largely with Felix. Will also be interesting to see whether Seebohm swims the W200IM given the demands of her 3 backstroke events (in all of which she’s a likely medal contender).

Actually think they’ve probably been uber conservative with men’s relay selections. They could easily call on Horton for 4×200 heats rather than Herzog & Delaney’s 49.3 (and zero FS relay experience unlike Abood) is a real “charity case”.

Re “coasting in heats/semis”; a valid point but they actually used to be worse internationally in the 80’s/early 90’s …. and some of the worst WERE from some major Qld “stables”. Partial explanations can be the actual depth of the field in the particular events, and their particular schedules at Trials which do require management of effort.

They certainly cannot afford to play games in the international arena; some will immediately “wise up”, some will learn ….. and some really DO only have one good swim in them. However, I don’t see it as just an AUS phenomena; whilst some nations with have significant depth/fierce competition to qualify in specific events; USA & AUS are probably the only ones with close to “cross the board coverage” and even then both have some significant gaps.

It’s a wonder you didn’t refer to Ashwood who’s replicated her 2014 form with world class times in earlier state titles but significantly slower at Trials. One hopes her 2015 “major meets” form-line doesn’t continue to play out as per the 2014 script.

Craig Lord

Yes, Felix, heats speed shows at the big one. A problem for most of the top 20 nations in the sport, legion the realm of slow, boring, monotonous domestic heats that have almost no relevance whatsoever to what is required in big international waters. That is less the case in places like Australia but even there, as you note, it is possible for the potential big hitters to coast heats – so coast they tend to do. A bit of a shock when you need a heats swim within 1% of your best cot make the final… and you haven’t really prepared for it.

longstroke

If you finish first or second at national trials and meet the FINA qualifying standard then you’ve earned the right to compete at the highest level. No ifs or buts. The Australian policy of imposing an even higher standard is based on flawed thinking and is disrespectful to the swimmers and their coaches as it assumes they are not already doing everything possible to be the best they can.

Most swimmers are virtually anonymous even in their own countries and struggle financially but still put in many hours of hard work because they love their sport and dream about representing their country at the highest level. To deny swimmers such as Daniel Tranter that right even though they’ve met the international standard smacks of meanness and officialdom gone mad.

CT

Qld swimmers have dominated the Dolphins squad again. Only nine of the 38 strong squad are from other states. The grandfather of the team will be Grant Hackett at 34 while the baby will be South Australian sprinter Kyle Chalmers at 16.

felixdangerpants

CT many of those QLD swimmers are not from QLD, they just have better coaches so top swimmers end up there. Bohl coaches St Peters, plenty of them on the Aussie team, he has 13 in London which included Park.

Craig Lord

longstroke – I understand your point but the fact is that australian swimmers and their program(s) are largely funded by the public purse. The public doesn’t really want to see (or pay for) 10th or 14th in the 200IM semis (same in over nations, such as GBR, where a recent survey drove home hat very point). That’s what the ‘thinking’ is based on.
Wider point:
The better way if intl cuts were to be applied would be to make the cut at world top 30 at X date if swimming wants a genuine elite world championship. As it is, the event is about two-three heats (at a stretch in many events) of the real deal and a wave of people far slower than many left at home. The sport needs a different model. The day of the 3-4-hours heats sessions is well and truly done if wider media interest is what’s wanted. Universality is not hoping the sport on the elite moments and not helping development either – there should be a different framework that holds incentive at its core … as it is Tranter (who has not done enough to be at his best since last season) stays away and FINA pays the full cost of having folk far far far slower at the meet, so that the delegates of those nations can travel in numbers and vote when and how they’re told to.

commonwombat

CT, will expand on felix’s point re QLD. Coaching is part of the reason for swimmer’s “migration” but another key factor is climate. The (generally) warmer temps and milder winters are much “friendlier” for year-round outdoor training.

Re the tough qualifying times; there IS a strong justification for them however SAL has perhaps miscalculated/gone overboard by making an arbitrary “cross the board” rule. They’ve failed to acknowledge that there continue to be some significant gaps (esp on the men’s side) and a number of events where the FINA A time would, in itself, prove a significant challenge.

Perhaps this issue is something that they should reconsider in future/look more event by event.

longstroke

Craig, I take your point about taxpayers wanting accountability but my point is that most of the taxpayer funding goes towards development with the aim of producing swimmers who can represent the country at the elite level. If a number of swimmers(Daniel Tranter is not alone) meet the elite standard and Swimming Australia refuses to take up its full allocation then taxpayers are entitled to ask whether they are getting the full return on their investment. After all, they are not paying just so that swimmers train and nothing else.

I agree entirely that most of the qualifying heats are irrelevant, dreary affairs. Paying for so many swimmers just to turn up is not a good allocation of resources. It should be more about excellence.

Craig Lord

longstroke – yes, I hear you, absolutely … the trouble with the international elite standard is that it is set by FINA on the basis of how many swimmers from its 200-plus members around the world it would have in the water at the champs (FINA A and FINA B times,,, one for elite, the other for the votes required…) – and FINA has no jurisdiction over national swimmers in domestic waters, beyond the rule book, and the intl fed cannot tell nations how to select swimmers. My suggestion is to remove the process from the hands of policies with more problems and asterisks attached to them than is healthy for simplicity and wider understanding.
Theory: if Australia has 5 in the top 30 (theoretical line, not set in stone, just for the sake of discussion) in 100m free, it sends five… and if it has none in the 200IM, it gets no place in that race…
Of course, excellence and the money put into development as well as all those subsidised centres where many train, does translate to the taxpayer paying for the process through which folk end up standing on the blocks at the big meets – and the evidence shows that that public wants medals (regardless of how I may feel about that)

commonwombat

Longstroke, there is another issue with regards to selection but it’s not one that can be delineated by qualification standards. It is that of actual performance in major international competitions. You can have swimmers who make the FINA/SAL/GB etc QT but when it comes to the big meet fail to get past the heats or semis.

AUS cases in point would be David McKeon in the current team; the unlamented Master Nicholas D’Arcy could swim nigh medal class times at home but never “away”. Ashwood is ‘showing signs’ but it’s still early days. Then you have the “unpredictable” such as Bronte Barrett who would final/medal one year and be nowhere the next.

It’s a legitimate issue as to whether you should still provide a plane ticket to international championships to some who’ve proven “non-performers”. The question is how/where do you draw the line and potentially tell he/she that “their card is marked never to be selected again”. Much easier said than done.

Does SAL still have a degree of shortsightedness with regards to their selection standards; ie still operating under a presumption that they are still a swimming superpower rather than just a very strong nation albeit with some very major gaps in the program ? Again one can argue either side of the case.

for33

While perhaps inconsistent in their individual swims, I’d venture that Mr. McKeon and Ms. Barratt have been among the most consistent australian swimmers in their 4x200m relay races. Ms. Ashwood, even at her best, is quite on a different league than the current leaders Ms. Ledecki, Ms. Carlin, and Ms. Boyle.

commonwombat

McKeon’s 2014 relay swims were certainly reliable enough; in London he was the slowest of the four legs whilst at 2013 Worlds his 1.49 leg was part of a heats line-up that ballsed things up sufficiently to miss finals qualification.

Barrett and relays has sometimes mirrored her individual showings. Excellent in Beijing & London but form so bad that she’s been dropped from relay line-ups in 2007 and “off the pace” legs in 2009 & 2013.

Personal Best

The depth and strength in some events, and the tight qualification standards in Australia mean that most swimmers have to be at their best.

Swimmers from some other nations, facing far fewer challenges may not have such pressure and may not have to taper and peak twice.

So heats may be slow, but finals are tough. So the swimmers are working extremely hard to make the team, and in some events, working really hard to make the final.

Maybe not so in Australia’s softer events, but certainly in the ultra competitive ones.

Personal Best

I would like to see implemented the idea that Craig has put forward.
Set a cut off date, say April 30, select the top 30 swimmers for a summer champs, and allow them time to prepare.

SydneySwimDad

For the World Champs I would like to see the best available and if your time at Nationals ranks you in the top say 20 you should go.

Why do we have a “B” qualifying time for Olympics and not Worlds, least it would be consistent.

Just my thoughts anyway.

beachmouse

There is something to be said for taking a promising junior to Worlds if you think there’s a good shot for further progression down the line. Let them go through the process of seeing what the meet is and what they need to do to succeed first hand. I really wish that the Aussies would have brought Mack Horton to Worlds last time because there’s knack swimming Just Fast Enough in the 800/1500M heats so you’ve got a nice lane for the finals but still have something left in the tank for the hardware round in a WC or Olympic Games where all the countries bring their A swimmers, and he’s now going in as a favorite without having had to do that process before.

CT

You are right Felix. Should have researched before posting. They may swim for Qld clubs but a good few of them originate from other states. See if I can name some. The McKeons hail from the Illawarra, NSW. Thomas Fraser-Holmes is from Newcastle while Jessica Ashwood is Sydney-born.. Are there any more?

CT

Beachmouse. Something similar to what you are saying about taking an up and comer to the worlds as a learning curve, has been used in cricket for instance. Swimming Aust. should implement something similar. Can only help improve the swimmer as well as Aussie swimming.

commonwombat

Enough on selections !! How strong does this team look; given others are still going through/yet to have their national titles ?

The women’s side looks OK. Coutts’ (potentially permanent) absence effectively takes 200IM out of any medal calculations and McKeon/Groves look at this stage more finals contenders than potential medallists.

Strongest female medal chances would appear: C1 (50/100FS) & Seebohm (100/50BK) & all 3 relays. C2 (100FS) & Seebohm (200BK) are realistic chances but maybe on the 2nd line of betting for these events. Wilson (100BK), Groves (200FLY) are not inconceivable hopes but lack of international experience probably add several points to their “odds”.

Horton (400/1500) looks the only really ‘firm’ individual hope on the men’s side. Whereas in past years, Magnussen & McEvoy’s times would’ve earned them medal favourism but on this year’s performances they look to be amongst a scrum of contenders. Realistic chances; yes but nothing more. Larkin could contend in backstroke events but at this point looks a step off the dias. The male relays could contend but none look surefire medal bets.

felixdangerpants

Yes the men will really struggle to win medals. I would say there fs relays should really both medal but we’ve said that before & they haven’t. I do think the presence of Hackett will really fire up that 4×200, there final result though will really depend on what McEvoy does after a horror 2014 on that relay. Larkin could sneak a bronze in the 100, technically not good enough in the 200. Obviously no chance of fly br or im medals. Nothing in the 50 free. Chances in all other free distances but could well come away without a single men’s gold.

robbos

Magnussen & McEvoy no 1 & 2 last year & again this year & yet not favourites for the gold medal? Mack Horton would have to close to favourite in the 400. The 4X200 on their times this year would also have to be favourites. Are you not seeing what I’m seeing.

felixdangerpants

no Robbos no I’m not. World rankings at this time of year mean zilch. The French & Brasilians haven’t rested, the Americans aren’t trialling for spots. Magnussen will not win the 100. The Americans will pound Aussie in the 4×200 & while Horton swam a great 3.42 he still has to beat Sun. So no. Aussie are not favs to win gold in any men’s event. (in my opinion)

robbos

I respect your opinion Felix, however, neither Magnussen or McEnvoy needed to be at their best at the trails as they were well in advance of the 3rd place swimmer. Australians have been criticised to peak at Nationals & not perform as well at Int’l.
Funny how you still rate Sun from performances from 2 years ago & currently under extreme scrutiny but not Magnussen. Sun has not gone near Horton’s time in 2 years.
4X200, only time will tell.

robbos

Felix, you also mentioned that neither French or Brazilians were rested, why not? Were they pre-selected? They have pretty strong depth.

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