SYDNEY, Australia, February 20. IAN Thorpe, Libby Lenton, Jodie Henry and Leisel Jones will head up a powerful Telstra Dolphins Australian Swim Team for the Mare Nostrum series in Europe in June. The Mare Nostrum series will kick off in Monaco from June 3-4 before moving onto Canet (June 7-8) and Barcelona (June 10-11) and will feature many of world’s best swimmers.
Joining the established stars on the 30 member Telstra Dolphins team will be Athens Olympic 1,500 free finalist Craig Stevens, rising sprinter Eamon Sullivan, breaststroker Christian Sprenger and up and comers Kylie Palmer, Nick D’Arcy, Sally Foster and Melanie Schlanger. The team also consists of ten swimmers based at the Australian Institute of Sport including Henry, Jade Edmistone, Alice Mills and Linda MacKenzie.
The three-meet series will be the first time the Australian’s have been back to Europe since the success of the Athens Olympics where Thorpe, Henry, Lenton and Mills all won gold medals. The Mare Nostrum record books are littered with a who’s who of swimming greats, including Inge de Bruijn, Yana Klochkova, Alex Popov and Lenny Krayzelburg and have been used by many to prepare for bigger international meets.
Thorpe owns the 200 freestyle record set in Canet in 2001 and the 400 freestyle mark established in Monaco the same year while Lenton and Jones used the series to prepare for Athens and set records at Monaco in the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, respectively. Swimming Australia Head Coach Alan Thompson said the squad was a good mix of youth and experience and would offer those swimmers selected the opportunity for some high quality international racing.
“We have picked a team of athlete’s who we believe will benefit from this type of intense competition in the lead up to the 2007 FINA World Championships and the Beijing Olympics,” Thompson said. “The Mare Nostrum series is always of the highest international standard and I am sure these guys will gain from the chance to race some of the best in the world.”
The team: Frances Adcock, Leith Brodie, Nick D'Arcy, Sophie Edington, Jade Edmistone, Michelle Engelsman, Sally Foster, Felicity Galvez, Jodie Henry, Leisel Jones, Lisbeth Lenton, Linda Mackenzie, Alice Mills, Travis Nederpelt, Kirk Palmer, Kylie Palmer, Jim Piper, Cameron Prosser, Melanie Schlanger, Christian Sprenger, Craig Stevens, Kelly Stubbins, Eamon Sullivan, Ian Thorpe, Tarnee White, Tayliah Zimmer plus four swimmers to be added.