By Stephen J Thomas
CANBERRA, Australia, June 19. QUEENSLAND coach, David Urquhart, was today officially named on the Australian Commonwealth Games Swimming Team, replacing Gennadi Touretski who officially withdrew from the team last week after his swimmer Ray Hass was ruled out due to an elbow injury in an accident in Monte Carlo two weeks ago.
Urquhart, from the Redlands Club in Brisbane, is the coach of 2000 Olympic (400 free relay) gold medalist Ashley Callus. Callus also snatched his first individual gold at a major meet when he won the 100 free at the FINA World Short Course Championships, in Moscow clocking an Australian record 46.99 (breaking Michael Klim's previous mark by exactly half a second).
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, backstroker Ray Hass was replaced by a female swimmer, Melbourne-based butterfly specialist, Rachel Coffee after the Australian Swimming Board of directors endorsed Coffee's addition to the 41-strong Australian team.
For Coffee, the 19-year-old Melbourne based- butterflier, it reflects a much deserved reward for her impressive Australian Championships that saw her finish second behind World Champion Petria Thomas in the 100 fly. Her recent solid performances on the Mare Nostrum tour in Monte Carlo and Rome, where she picked up two silver medals, suggested she will be looking to make the most of her late inclusion come race time in Manchester.
Australian Swimming Chief Executive, Glenn Tasker announced the two changes to the Commonwealth Games swim team today in Canberra.