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Bond swimmers to come of age at nationals

By Holly Slattery

An elite team of young swimmers will set the stage for Bond University’s international swimming campaign at the Australian Age Swimming Championships in Adelaide next week.

Bond’s best age-group swimmers will compete across all seven days of the pinnacle competition which comes ahead of the Australian Swimming Championships in May.

Notably it is an opportunity for swimmers aged under 18 to qualify for the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Honolulu, Hawaii, in August.

The Australian team will allow just two swimmers for each event and Bond’s Jesse Coleman is hopeful of securing a spot for either the 100m butterfly or 200m freestyle.

“I’m feeling pretty good and I’m excited to race,” Coleman said.

“You don’t get to do these big meets really often, it’s just once a year.

“We’ve had a fairly long training block of about 12 weeks so I’ve just been training heaps and doing a slight taper for next week so we’re fresh and ready to race.

“It’s a trial meet for the Junior Pan Pacs so I’m really hoping to make the team.”

This Australian Age Championships will be the 17-year-old’s fifth and final as he transitions to competing in the open competition which takes place in just over a month’s time.

The Australian Swimming Championships is a trial event for those hoping to make the Australian senior team and compete at international meets like the FINA World Championships, Commonwealth Games and World University Games.

Coleman is one of Bond’s young guns who will go on to race at trials off the back of the National Age warm-up.

He will battle the likes of Kyle Chalmers, Matt Temple, David Morgan and Cody Simpson to have a shot at making his senior team debut.

“I think [Australian Age] will be a good benchmark to see where we are at with our preparation,” Coleman said.

“It’s about five weeks in the lead-up to trials so it’s good to have a little race hit-out.

“I’d have to drop a fair bit of time (to make the Australian senior team) but I’m hoping we can do that.”

Bond’s swimming director Kyle Samuelson anticipates a slew of great performances from the Bull Sharks who will be defending the club’s top-five performance from last year.

“We are proud of how our swimmers have prepared for this event,” Samuelson said.

“Racing is the best form of training, so we will look to execute as well as possible on the way to trials.

“The South Australian Aquatic Centre is a fantastic facility that usually delivers fast swimming, so we are excited to see the results.”

Ones to watch will include Coleman in the 100m butterfly and 200m freestyle as well as Flynn Southam, Milla Jansen and Mikayla Bird who are also competing in multiple events.

Heats and finals will be livestreamed on Prime Video from April 11 to 18.

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