Aussie Team Newsletter#4

(This is edition #4 of THE DOLPHIN DAILY, the Australian National swim Team's official newsletter
for the 9th FINA World Swimming Championships, Fukuoka, Japan.)

By Ian Hanson


The Telstra Dolphins Australian Swim Team will conduct their one and only official press conference in Fukuoka on July 18 at 11am at the New Otani Hotel. The athletes featured will be Ian Thorpe, Michael Klim, Grant Hackett, Geoff Huegill, Matt Welsh, Petria Thomas and Leisel Jones.

Meat and Livestock Australia will play hosts to an official welcome luncheon for the Telstra Dolphins on July 18 at 12.30pm at the New Otani Hotel, Fukuoka. The luncheon will feature a Q and A with Australian head coach, Don Talbot, and team nutritionist, Dr Louise Burke. Australian team media director Ian Hanson will also interview Dolphins Ian Thorpe, Ashley Callus and Sarah Ryan. Meat and Livestock have joined principal sponsors Telstra in supporting the Dolphins in their World Championship campaign.

The Telstra Dolphins will wind up their week-long World Championship Staging Camp at the Changi Beach Club, Singapore today (Monday), with the first combined session of the men’s and women’s teams this afternoon. The team will arrive in Fukuoka on Tuesday.

Gets underway today (Monday), with the men’s and women’s five-kilometre event in Hakata Bay. Hayley Lewis, competing in her third World Championship, will open her three-event campaign (she also has the 10km and the 1500m freestyle) in the women’s event, while Macquarie Fields teenager Herbert Ray will make his international debut in the men’s event. It is 10 years since Lewis won the 200m freestyle at her first World Championship in Perth as a 16-year-old in 1991. Lewis also won silver behind Janet Evans in the 800m Rome in 1994.

Brisbane-based butterflyer, Julia Ham, will celebrate her 21st birthday (today) Monday, July 15 as the Australian Swim Team prepares to travel to Fukuoka. Ham, who is the life of every party, will contest both the 50 and 100 metres butterfly when the Championships begin on July 22. "Hammy" who has revealed her new passion for hiking, made the most of every opportunity when the women’s team went to the famous Singapore Zoo, posing with a chimp and a python (with sprinter Michelle Engelsman) and jumping on the Elephant Ride. She goes to the wilds of Tasmania for a hiking adventure in October.

Popular AIS based coach Barry Prime celebrated his 47th birthday in Singapore with a chocolate and cherry cake – his second treat of the day after the Ladies Auxiliary at the Changi Beach Club delivered some of their home made fruit jellies to the former British Olympian on pool deck, before his own mid-morning training session." Prime Time" has made a huge impression on the locals with his friendly laugh-a-minute personality.

Head coach Don Talbot found himself in the spotlight during the Australian Women’s Team Karaoke and "Bad Hair" night in Singapore on Saturday night – belting out the popular Elvis number "Don’t Step on my Blue Suede Shoes."

If Don Talbot was the King then 18-year-old WA Olympian Jennifer Reilly, her two-time Olympian roommate Sarah Ryan (they’ve have been together since 1998 Commonwealth Games) and the ever-present Julia Ham were the Queens of the night. Ryan, who will marry former Campbelltown butterflyer Angus Kingsell in October, brought the house down with the final song of the night – Madonna’s – "Like A Virgin."

The Brett Hawke, Bruce Steed, Jennifer Reilly and Simon Cowley led table won the Annual Swim Team Trivia Night – another outstanding Perry,Pyne Production, which featured several Trivia rounds, the Wheel of Fortune with Louise Burke as the buxom Girl of Fortune (won by Alan Thompson), Mathematics corner (won by chiropractor Dave Reynolds), The Needle and Thread Challenge (won by Adam Pine), "The throw four paper balls in the waste bin trick" (won by Linda McKenzie) and the "Whistle with the mouthful of Uncle Toby’s Vita-Brits Relay, anchored by Adam "The Body" Pine.

The Aussie Men’s team watched the Wallabies waltz to their 29-23 win over the British and Irish Lions on their "$5 Loud-as-you-like Shirt Night" at a well known Singapore restaurant on Saturday night. Adam "The Body" Pine and Todd "Six Pack" Pearson with their body-hugging blue and mauve numbers stole the show, along with Geoff Huegill’s "Fu-Man-Shu" outfit. Ian Thorpe, with his green "Incredible Hulk" shirt – rips and all – proved popular with the staff and posed for a photo after being mobbed on his exit, a photo which is sure to be mounted on the wall alongside other famous and some infamous Americans – Dan Marino, Micky Mantle and Pete Rose, amongst others – when he returns.

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