SYDNEY, Australia, December 17. ACCORDING to a story earlier this week in the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia is interested in participating in an August 2007 competition that would run over a four or five-day period. The meet would feature squads from China, South Africa and Brazil and would take place in Europe under the organization of the European Swimming League (LEN).
The event is appealing to Australia and National Team head coach Alan Thompson due to the way the schedule falls for 2007. With that year’s World Championships scheduled for March 18-April 1, there is a considerable absence in major competitions leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The Aussies are slated to meet the United States in the Duel in the Pool on April 3, 2007 but have no major meets during the following months.
"We need to pursue it a bit further and see where it goes but we're definitely interested," Thompson said in the newspaper article. "I sent Sven Folvik (of LEN) an email immediately (after) I heard about it, telling him to keep us in the loop. We are very interested in what comes of it, and we would like to talk about it some more. It would fit nicely into our schedule and although it means a trip to Europe, I think the competition would be good for us. We've got nothing else high-level like that planned for later in that year.”
In the story, Thompson indicated that he spoke to Folvik about staging a Pan-Pac nations versus European nations meet at some point. A competition of that sort would match the United States, Australia, Japan and Canada against an all-star squad of European athletes.