BRISBANE. July 6. SOME of Australian swimming's biggest names and best prospects have joined the high-performance swimming group, Team Speedo Australia.
In a major initiative, Tim Lees, Marketing Director for Speedo Australia, announced today that Team Speedo Australia has been expanded to 22 swimmers, including Grant Hackett, Michael Klim and Geoff Huegill as well as other world-class Australian swimmers and others knocking on the door of international success.
Prior to the Olympics in Sydney, the group comprised Hackett, Klim, Susie O'Neill and Matthew Dunn. Since then, both O'Neill and Dunn have retired.
Mr Lees also foreshadowed that Speedo would be making further announcements as part of an ambitious ongoing program of support for Australian swimming. Speedo's support of Australian swimming teams is the longest unbroken sponsorship in sport and dates back to the era of the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956
"The Olympics in Sydney was exceptionally successful for Speedo with 83 percent of all medals being won by swimmers wearing Speedos and 13 out of 15 world records being broken by swimmers in Speedo," according to Mr Lees.
"Australia is a superpower in the world of swimming and Speedo will add value by continuing the role of Team Speedo Australia, but in a bigger and bolder way.
Many of the 22-member Team Speedo Australia sponsored athletes are household names in Australia.
Klim and Hackett are probably the best known while Geoff Huegill, Matt Welsh, Leisel Jones, Justin Norris, Petria Thomas, Ashley Callus, Elka Graham, Lori Munz and Grant McGregor are world class swimmers.
The remainder of Team Speedo Australia is made up of 11 swimmers known as the Speedo Sharks. They are Nicole Hunter, Kelly Tucker, Lara Davenport, Amanda Pascoe, Joshua Krogh, Stephen Penfold, Ashley Anderson, Leigh McBean, Kelli Waite, Katie Canning and Jim Piper.
"Team Speedo Australia members have been identified by Speedo as the outstanding future prospects in the four years leading up to the Olympics in Athens in 2004," according to Lees.