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Dolphins Descend on Yeosu

by ZwemZa on July 9th, 2019

(L-R): Hayden Cotter, Chelsea Gubecka, Mackenzie Brazier, Kareena Lee and Nick Sloman. (Australian Swimming)

The Australian open water Dolphins have touched down in South Korea ready to race a fierce field of competitors in Yeosu at the 2019 FINA World Championships.

The team of eight will compete in six events over the course of seven days, with the Men’s 5km race set to kick off the action early (9am EST) this Saturday morning, and will feature young guns Hayden Cotter (Lawnton) Bailey Armstrong (Kawana Waters).

Experienced campaigners Kareen Lee (Noosa) and Chelsea Gubecka (Yeronga Park) will hit the water the following day, racing in an Olympic qualifying event – the Women’s 10km Open.

Hayden Cotter, coach Rob Van Der Zant and Chelsea Gubecka put the final touches on preparations. (Australian Swimming)

Speaking to Swimming Australia after her first swim on course, Gubecka said the conditions in Yeosu should make for an exciting race come Sunday.

“Yeah it’s pretty nice, not too cold – we’re used to a lot colder! – and there’s a little bit of wind, so it should make it a good race,” Gubecka said.

“I’m feeling pretty confident and happy with my preparation. I’ve got a bit of experience under my belt as it’s my fourth worlds so I’m looking forward to it.”

Lee, who is competing in her third world championships, reiterated Gubecka’s sentiments after diving into the Yeosu EXPO Ocean Park for the first time on Tuesday.

“It was great to get a feel of the course, the water is about 22 degrees so it’s a really comfortable temperature to race in,” Lee said.

“It’s really exciting to be here and seeing all the other countries come in, it’s just a really great environment to be in.”

Lee’s Noosa teammate, Nick Sloman, along with Kai Edwards (TSS Aquatics) make their first appearance on Tuesday 15 July, competing in the Olympic men’s qualifier – the Men’s 10km Open.

This will mark Sloman’s first world championships and he’s ecstatic to be racing on the big stage with high stakes.

Taking the first plunge into Yeosu EXPO Ocean Park. (Australian Swimming)

“I’m very excited for the race, obviously with Olympic selection on the cards it’s going to be hard but I’m excited for the challenge,” Sloman said.

Any Australian swimmer who finishes in the top 10 of the men’s or women’s 10km race will be nominated by Swimming Australia to the Australian Olympic Committee for potential selection on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic team.

The Women’s 5km event takes place on Wednesday 17 and will showcase the talents of Chloe Gubecka (Kawana Waters) and Mackenzie Brazier (Noosa), while the 5km team relay kicks off on Thursday.

The most gruelling race of the meet – the men’s and women’s 25km event – will conclude the competition on Friday 19. So far, Chelsea Gubecka, Kai Edwards and Bailey Armstrong are the only Australian athletes to nominate for this race.

Australian Swimming




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