Mitch Larkin is the headliner heading into the 2016 Victorian Open Swimming Championships this weekend.
Swimming Australia Press Release:
Dual world champion Mitch Larkin will headline some of the country’s best swimmers including fellow World Championship medallists Madi Wilson, Mack Horton and Jessica Ashwood at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre this weekend for their first hit-out of the new year at the 2016 Victorian Open Swimming Championships.
The championships, which will run from Friday January 22 to Sunday January 24, will allow the Dolphins to test their early season speed ahead of the hotly contested 2016 Perth Aquatic Super Series that will see the team take on China and Japan at HBF Stadium on February 5 and 6.
It will also be the first chance that former world champion James Magnussen will get to race following shoulder surgery last year.
Magnussen has entered the 50, 100 and 200m freestyle with his pet event, the 100m freestyle, scheduled for the Friday morning heats (approx. 10:45am AEDT).
Following on from a stellar year in the pool in 2015, Larkin will no doubt be looking to carry on his impressive form, consistently pushing the Australian and Commonwealth record times.
While his training partner Wilson will get the chance to practise her race skills before coming up against her friendly rival and dual world champion Emily Seebohm in Perth next month.
Then the race to Rio will be on, with the hotly contested backstroke events at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Championships in Adelaide from April 7 to 14.
In Adelaide, Wilson and Seebohm will be joined by Victorians Belinda Hocking and Hayley Baker as well as Junior World Champion Minna Atherton as they race for a spot on the Australian team in the 100 or 200m backstroke events.
Also in action this weekend, World Championship bronze medallist Horton will have the home-town advantage when he takes on a packed schedule including the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle events.
He will also get the chance to race Canadian distance ace, Ryan Cochrane who will swim in four of Horton’s events; the 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle.
And in the corresponding women’s events, Australia’s distance freestyle queen, Ashwood, will be looking to start her summer of swimming off on a similarly speedy note to the USA’s Katie Ledecky who set a new world mark in the women’s 800m freestyle earlier in the week.