By Ian Hanson
CANBERRA, July 14. DUAL Olympian and former Olympic bronze medalist Karen Stephenson (nee Moras) will lead an Australian Swimming team into 2008 Olympic city, Beijing, for the 2001 World University Summer Games in September.
The 1968 Olympic bronze medalist over 400m freestyle and former world record holder for 800 metres freestyle attended the Games in Mexico and Munich in 1972, with her sister Narelle.
Karen Moras is remembered as one of Australia's top swim staars throughout the late 60s and early 70s, who won three gold medals at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. She was originally coached by Forbes Carlile and then by the current Australian head coach Don Talbot.
Now a swimming coach herself at Auburn, Austrealia, Mrs Stephenson, has been a manager on Australian Swim teams to the 1999 World Short Course Championships and Mare Nostrum European tours.
Australian Swimming has selected a team of 11 swimmers – seven men and four women to attend the Games between August 22 and September 11. Among the men is 2000 Olympian Robbie Van Der Zant, the captain and top Aussie at the 2001 East Asian Games in Osaka in May.
He has been joined by "The Campbelltown Kid" Jim Piper – who has re-written the record books for 200m breaststroke this year – twice breaking the Australian record and clocking the four fastest times ever by an Australian – to be ranked second in the world for 2001.
Piper, 19, who is coached by NSW Institute of Sport elite coach, Alan Thompson at the Sydney Aquatic Centre, is one of Australia’s emerging talents, with his eyes on the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Promising Townsville distance swimmer Andrew Affleck and noted sprinters Stephen Goudie (freestyle) and Burl Reid (butterfly) will give the Australians a very competitive team.
Among the women is Kate Hanna – formerly Kate Godfrey, a 1998 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in butterfly and freestyle sprinter Melinda Geraghty, a member of the 1999 team from Palma de Majorca.
The last Australian Swimming team in Beijing was in 1998 at the FINA World Cup – a team which included Olympic 4x200m freestyle relay gold medalist William Kirby, his current Australian World Championship team mate, Anthony Matkovich and Olympic silver and bronze medalist Geoff Huegill.
The Australian Swimming Team to contest the 2001 World University Summer Games in Beijing (August 22-September 1) named by Australian University Sport is:
MEN – Andrew Affleck (James Cook University, Qld); David Carter (University of Sydney, NSW), Jared Clarke (Deakin University, Vic), Stephen Goudie (University of Canberra, ACT), Jim Piper (University of Sydney, NSW), Burl Reid (Canberra Institute of Technology, ACT), Rob Van Der Zant (Griffith University, Qld).
WOMEN – Melinda Geraghty (University of Queensland, Qld), Kate Godfrey (University of Queensland, Qld), Cassandra Steer (University of Western Australia, WA), Kristy Ward (Griffith University, Qld).
Manager: Karen Stephenson, NSW
Coach: Paul Sansby, Qld
Physiotherapist: Justin McEvoy, Vic.