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Bull Sharks set for Olympic trials after strong preparation

Ben Armbruster at Aussie champs
Ben Armbruster at the Australian Championships. 

It’s crunch time for the Bond Bull Sharks as a  27-strong team of athletes head to Brisbane’s Chandler Aquatic Centre for the 2024 Australian Swimming Trials, the sole selection event for the for the Paris Olympics. 

Led by Hancock Prospecting Swimming Excellence Scholars Flynn Southam, Elijah Winnington and Jenna Strauch plus young guns Milla Jansen and Ben Armbruster, the Bull Sharks will race against the nation's best in the six-day competition which runs from Monday June 10 through to Saturday (June 15).  The team will come face-to-face with the country’s leading swimmers in the fight to win a prized Dolphin cap and the prestige of representing Australia at the Paris Games. .

Bond’s Director of Swimming Kyle Samuelson, said his squad was ready after a near perfect preparation that included a final training camp on the Sunshine Coast in early May.

“This team has given their all,” he said.

“ Countless early mornings and late afternoons in the pool, gym sessions, run sessions.   There’s been no missed training because of weather or cold snaps, so we’ve been very lucky,.

“But this is the meet that matters.  It’s crunch time, the result of three intense years of training and preparation to get to this moment. 

"The anticipation for the trials is definitely heightened, the pressure is on.”

Bondies to look out for include :

Flynn Southam will compete in the 200m, 100m and 50m freestyle events in a bid to secure his a spot on his first Olympic team. The 19-year-old took home gold in the 200m freestyle at the Australian Open Championships in April earlier this year edging out Elijah Winnington. 

Jenna Strauch, Bond alumni and Tokyo Olympian, will race in the 100m and 200m breaststroke where she goes into the event with the fastest time. Strauch represented Australia at the Tokyo Olympics in the 200m Breaststroke. 

Elijah Winnington, a current Bond student and Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist, has a big workload, swimming the 400m, 200m, 100m and 800 m freestyle at the Trials. Winnington goes into the 400m and 800m events with the second fastest time,just behind Rackley Club swimmer, Samuel Short. 

Bull Sharks, Ben Armbruster and this year’s Hancock Prospecting Swimming Excellence Scholarship recipient Jesse Coleman, will face each other in the 100m butterfly in what’s set to be a showdown  against Tokyo Olympians Matt Temple and Kyle Chalmers. 

“We’re bringing quite a young team to the trials,” said Samuelson

“Some of our female swimmers are still quite young and not quite in the peak of their career.

“Their eyes are set on the LA and Brisbane Olympics, but these trials just build on their experience in a high-pressure environment.” 

The female 100m freestyle will be one of the most watched events of the trials with the start list boasting the likes of Emma McKeon, Mollie O’Callaghan, Shayna Jack and the Campbell sisters. Four Bull Sharks will swim in the female 100m freestyle – Milla Jansen, Hannah Casey, Mia O’Leary and Ainsley Trotter.

“It would be great to see the likes of Milla Jansen and Hannah Casey make the final, and as close as we can to top six,” said Samuelson.

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