SYDNEY, Nov. 14. AUSTRALIAN backstroker Clementine Stoney, a 2000 Olympian, received a valuable lift to her swimming career this week, signing an exclusive sponsorship deal with swimwear manufacturer TYR.
The contract breaks new ground for TYR as Stoney will become their first sponsored swimmer in Australia in a role where she will feature in all marketing and promotional material used in the 2003/04 retail season, joining a global team that will drive the growth of TYR in performance swimwear. Dual Olympic silver medallist, Slovakian Martina Moravcova, has played a similar role in the USA for several years.
Stoney’s profile in a recent issue of Inside Sport, Australia’s leading sports magazine, which featured her in a TYR costume, is said to have caught the attention of company management. (see pic credit Inside Sport)
Her arrangement with TYR will extend until after the World Championships in Barcelona next year with an option to renew through to the end of 2004, which will naturally include the Olympic Games in Athens.
Stoney recently moved to the Sydney University Club to train with Australian head men’s coach, Brian Sutton, after spending three years at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, having left her hometown of Albury at the tender age of seventeen. She made her first major Australian team the same year qualifying for the World Short Course Championships in Athens in 2000, where she took silver in the 200m backstroke and placed fourth in the 100m backstroke.
As an eighteen-year-old, she made the team for the Sydney Olympic Games, reaching the semifinals in the 200m backstroke. She also competed in the same event at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, finishing sixth in the final and followed up with two gold medals at the Goodwill Games in Brisbane in the 200m ckstroke and medley relay.
Stoney showed a glimpse of her full potential the same year when she broke the world record for the 200m backstroke at the Australian National Short Course Championships in Perth.
In 2002, she made the finals at the World Short Course Championships in Moscow in the 100 and 200 backstroke, then despite losing her relatively new coach Gennadi Touretski due to his dramatic suspension during her preparation, went on to reach the finals in two backstroke events at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the 200 at the Pan Pacific Games in Yokohama.
Stoney is enjoying the move to Sydney and training under Brian Sutton and is particularly pleased to attracted the sponsorship opportunity with TYR. She is keen to study fashion design on a part-time basis next year and TYR will also provide her with an ongoing program of industry work experience. In addition, she will also perform a vital function in the technical area of the TYR range assisting with the development and testing of new technology.
Stoney leaves with other members of the Sydney University team on Friday to take part in a high altitude camp at Colorado Springs in the USA. The team will return direct to Melbourne to compete in the FINA World Cup event in Melbourne December 6.
Current world ranking for 200m Backstroke:
5th Short Course
8th Long Course