To The Sound Of Time Healing Grant Hackett Aims To Be Aussie 4th Olympics Pioneer

granthackett4

Watch the eyes, watch the relaxed manner of a man back in the swim, watch the keen yet unhurried approach he takes, hear the confidence without cockiness, hear the sound of time healing as a legend recalls the moment he left his last Olympic race, packed his bag, silver lining and all,  and walked away from…

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Brad

Maddison Elliott “not one to hold back in a race” unless of course there’s a GHFSSS purse worth AUD$25k and AUD $31k funding from Australian Sports Commission on the line. Still let’s all enjoy her performance, money well spent after all!

aswimfan

I really hope Magnussen can qualify in 100, but it’s getting increasingly more difficult for him. If doesn’t, he’ll be in the group of swimmers “absolute best in their event during their peak but didn’t win Olympics individual gold”

commonwombat

OK, I know this may result in my furry hide coming under fire but this is the Furry Curmudgeon’s read going into AUS Trials.

Have some already swam their best times of the season ? Who’s been “hiding” their form ? Who’s built on last year’s progression and who’s “misfiring” ?

In the following events, the likelihood of NO swimmer making the AUS QT varies from realistic to likely:

– M100/200FLY (PBs required to qualify in both events plus the poor intl CVs of the leading contenders)
– M200BRS (near certainty with no-one with a PB within 1.5sec of QT.
– M100BRS (Packard’s PB isn’t much inside the QT and his form post Dec has been erratic)
– M200IM (no AUS representative at 2015 Worlds)

Events where there’s a bit of uncertainty with qualifying:
M1500: (the 14.57 SHOULD be a doddle for Horton but his form this season IS well below last season)
W400IM:(McMaster & Evans have both swum within a sec or so of QT this season but it is close to their PBs)
W200BRS: (McKeown has a PB inside the QT but is she swimming well ? Bohl needs 1.5secPB)

Second AUS qualifier debatable/unlikely:
– M1500
– M100back
– M100brs
– M400IM
– W200IM (PBs required by everyone exc Coutts)
– W100BRS
– W800

Liklihood of a World Record: Could happen but I’m a little sceptical and it may prove counter-productive to whoever swims it given the increased media attention. Larkin IS a possibility but he has zero competition pushing him in his events. Seebohm may have this in the 100back which would be my more likely scenario. McEvoy ? Possible of course but not really seeing it. Likewise C1.

Best/most competitive races:
– Both women’s backstroke;
– the 2nd qualifier in M100free
– M&W200free, not that I’m necessarily expecting any stupendous time but rather who fills the top 4-5 places and their times.
– W100fly and can anyone get anywhere near a sub57 ?
– W100free where I expect C1 to win but what time can the injury compromised C2 swim and what will the times of those behind them ?

Safest bets:
– McEvoy M100free
– C1 W100free
– Larkin both Mback
– Ashwood W800free

There WILL be some fast times but I’m certainly not expecting them across the board and some events MAY disappoint in this regards.

aswimfan

CW,
IMHO, your predictions are spot on.
For m100 breast and fly, even if there is no one under QT, the selectors will take them to Rio anyway, even if it’s only for Medley relay, of which AUS is contender for a minor medal.

Brad

Not at all my intent to bring down the level of swimming discussion but given that Australian trials double as both Olympic and Paralympic trials it is worth noting the following differences between Olympic & Paralympic selection.

Priority 1 for Paralympic selection is top 4 World ranking all Australians removed based on 2015 IPC World rankings.
Very first event of Championships is 50 free multiclass or all classes swim together, swimmer closest to class WR is the winner (Elliott is S8 WR holder btw)

(S8) World ranking are as follows:

Elliott (Aus) 30.52
Patterson (Aus) 30.83
Olesia (Rus) 31.65
Long (USA) 31.83
Bird (Can) 31.93
Shengnan (Ch) 32

Elliott & Patterson – a rough second ahead of their rivals over 50 metres and the only school kids in that list – need only post a 32 to qualify for Rio in the very first event.

National Swimming Trials for the ‘pinnacle’ event in a swimmers career or School carnival? And how fast is Elliott going to go on her four swim sessions per week or has she upped the anti? Given her obscene level of GHFSSS funding I would be interested to work out Elliotts hourly rate from GHFSSS funding for every time she dips her toes in the pool in comparison to say C1or C2 over the same period.

Additionally, that no mention has been made by SAL regarding Jacqueline Freneys absence is a kick in the teeth for a Young Australian of the Year ambassador who also happens to be a highly accomplished swimmer.

Bottom line – extremely embarrassing and I shall try very hard to keep my opinions to myself over the next 10 days but I am not promising anything.

Craig Lord

Brad, for those reasons and others related to it, we will keep para reports apart. I do think para-swimming leadership has failed to deal with these issues; that will cone at a cost to all.

commonwombat

Brad, C1 & C2 have “suits deals” and other commercial agreements as do certain others amongst the top bracket of able-bodied swimmers.

From my recollection, Freney has barely competed over the past couple of years. The following media piece appears to give a reason http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/paralympic-swimming-star-pulls-out-of-rio-games/2983581/

Whilst it may’ve been nice for some sort of acknowledgement from SAL hierarchy; had anything been communicated directly to them and did THEY only find out her exact status from said media piece ? There are how many hundred entrants in these Trials; are you really expecting them to be taking note of every individual name ?

aswimfan

I don’t know how IPC classifications and qualifications work, but if classifications are based on how fast a swimmer swim, then there’s something fundamentally wrong with IPC swimming.

Craig Lord

There is indeed something fundamentally wrong in IPC swimming, including classification systems that appear not to be catching what such processes should catch. There is a scandal brewing in that realm…

commonwombat

That certainly appears to be the case. Regrettably, like any other field of human endeavour; wherever a loophole in the laws/regulations can be found there will be those who will take advantage of them.

Is it restricted to just swimming when it comes to IPC sport ? Hell no. Fingers are being pointed at AUS; quite probably with some justification; but in all reality (despite the loud protestations from certain corners) these loopholes are being “played” left right and centre.

Whilst its the swimmers/athletes who will inevitably cop it in the neck; WHERE the full culpability lies may be more complex. Is this being driven by federations or just rogue coaches/squads (as can be the case with doping) ?

We can be talking about a significant age range from early/mid teens to mature adults. We would expect the latter (given average mental competence) to be cognisant of what is being done wheras the former can be construed as being far less questioning of instructions from authority figures they trust.

I don’t know where the truth lies but like any such situation, it promises to be messy when the fertiliser finally hits the fan.

Craig Lord

Indeed CW. And yes, a bit like doping when we’re talking teenagers… culpability rests with full grown adults in charge of all their faculties. In para-sport world, any manipulation of the kind suggested far and wide would be (is, some cases proven, of course) truly sick.

commonwombat

Well, they did have to remove intellectually handicapped from the Paralympics post Sydney after the Spanish basketball team affair.

The future of international sports; particularly those with Olympic/Para linkages as well as FIFA; looks distinctly cloudy post Rio. Somethings likely to “blow up” and the fall-out potentially all encompassing. I wouldn’t care to predict what may come out the other side.

Craig Lord

Quite so, CW. The barn needs mucking out, no doubt about it.

Brad

OK Craig, understood.

CW – personal sponsorship and endorsement deals are entirely seperate from GHFSSS funding – I deliberately kept it simple to enable comparison funding from Swimmers Support Scheme. However, google and read the related document and do the math as I have now done. How many hours per week does an Olympian 50 / 100 specialist train in comparison to Elliot’s self confessed 4 sessions or even 5-6 sessions for her Commonwealth Games WR Gold medal? I don’t think SALs fairy godmother would be overly impressed, not so much at the recipient but at the lack of management. Huge funding, little training equals red flag!

As for Young Australian of the Year Jacqueline Freney, yes I do expect SAL to notice. Firstly she is a fully funded swimmer and secondly the Australian pool of Paralympic swimmers is not exactly bulging at the seams. Even the most inept of managers would have registered a no show.

I’ll sit back now and enjoy the ‘show’. Good luck to all honest swimmers during the Championships.

commonwombat

Brad, what may be said to the media and what is the reality are often two different things. Just take the case of one of our leading male swimmers who dropped a world leading time earlier this year. Unrested it was claimed ……. the general response from everyone equated to “porcine derriere”.

Do you actually know the hours that Elliot, Patterson etc ARE actually doing ? Why not ascertain for certain that you actually have a case seeing as you are making allegations of larceny ?

As for Madam Rinehart; SAL deserve whatever they get for taking on one of the most capricious and litigious individuals in the nation as “fairy godmother”. Don’t worry, that money and all those “scholarships” will have disappeared long before any IPC “fertiliser” is aired !

Brad

CW – I am quoting Maddison Elliott from two seperate interviews. One a video interview with The Maitland Mercury July 2014 prior to her Commonwealth Games Gold medal swim in World Record Time. Elliott stated on camera that she was training 5 – 6 sessions per week. Her second (this time radio interview) with Peter Greco in November 2015 during Pan Pacific School Games, Elliot stated she trained 4 sessions per week and that ‘she was not a morning person’. I am therefor merely repeating information freely shared by Elliott and her team. As for Patterson, I have no idea regarding her training schedule, I merely mentioned what she needed to swim to qualify for Rio. I do find it fascinating that an athlete can be considered ‘elite’ and a ‘World Champion’ on the back of such little training. Or perhaps you are right and Elliott was simply telling a few white lies to the media for the fun of it.

As I said earlier, I’ll just sit back and watch the show now.

ThereaLuigi

CW, may I inquire as to why you do not list Mc Evoy 200 free and C1 50 free as safe bets?

commonwombat

Luigi, the 50free will always be somewhat of a lottery. Whilst I view C1 as the favourite; C2’s hip niggle is likely to affect her less in the one-lap event (this was certainly the case with C1 herself when she had these issues early in her career).

Re M200free; I continue to be a sceptic with regards to AUS prospects at this distance in both individual and relay. McEvoy does have the fastest time and has to be seen as favourite but he’s certainly not the dominant figure here that he is in the 100. If he’s only swimming 1.46 then he could get rolled.

ThereaLuigi

Wait a sec CW, are we talking about obtaining qualification or what? If so, C1 would remain a safe bet even if she was beaten to the line by the younger sister, and McEvoy has basically no rivals in domestic waters in the 200.

commonwombat

Safest bets referred specifically to safest “win” bet.

With regards to McEvoy, his track record is erratic when it comes to the 200free. He’s not nearly as impressive in this event as he is over 100.

Yes, he may drop in a 1.45 (I don’t think he’s capable of much more unless he learns to pace his race better) but its not unknown for him to drop in a 1.48 (check his 4×200 relay record)

I’m not seeing any spectacular time coming from anyone in this event at AUS Trials and 1.46low could win it. Smith dropped in a 1.46.50 late last year so I give him an outside but realistic chance.

ThereaLuigi

I am willing to bet this is McEvoy’s year to really shine. Olympics are too far away, but I am optimistic about his Trials. A solid sub 48 swim in the 100 and a 1:45 in the 200.

commonwombat

Who knows ? A sub48 seems a fair bet but I think he put his cards on the table early with the 47.56 in Feb.

Would be surprised to see that bettered here but he shouldn’t need to. Talk of Chalmers going sub48 may be premature and Magnussen seems to be talking a better game than he’s probably capable of actually delivering.

As regards the 200; McEvoy seems a work in progress. Whether he’ll ever be a real international player in this one has yet to be established.

Robbos

ThereaLuigi, surprisingly (not), some swimmers are swimming season PBs & some are swimming PBs in their national championships. Hagino with no top 10 swims this year, gets to top of the ranking with a 1.45.5. So it will not be surprising to see Australians swimming seasonal PBs & Personal PBs in the national championships starting today.
I too expect TBH & Dan Smith to swim fast times too.
I too expect McEvoy to swim sub 48 in 100 & 1.45 in 200

Robbos

That was TFH (Thomas Fraser Holmes).

ThereaLuigi

CW, what if he did not fire his shots early, but , more simply, he only has fast bullets in his gun?

Robbos, lets see what happens

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