Cameron McEvoy takes the plunge towards a third Olympic campaign in Tokyo

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ON THE FLY: Cameron McEvoy shows the flying start he hopes will help seal his berth on a third Olympics to Tokyo. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Two-time Gold Coast Olympian Cameron McEvoy (TSS Aquatic) will return to racing in Melbourne this weekend at the Victorian State Championships – entered in all freestyle events between 50 and 400 metres at the Melbourne Sports And Aquatic Centre.

Racings starts on Friday in the three-day meet which also features the World Para Swimming World Series and culminates on Sunday evening with a host of Olympians, Paralympians and those with their eyes on joining sport’s exclusive club in Tokyo in 2020.

It’s also the next stop in McEvoy’s campaign to join a select band of swimmers to make three Olympic teams – that will see his three-peat fate to be sealed in the June Olympic Trials in Adelaide.

The 25-year-old who made his Olympic debut in London in 2012 is one of only a handful of swimmers – including Cate and Bronte Campbell, David McKeon, Emily Seebohm, Tessa Wallace, James Roberts, Yolane Kukla and Blair Evans from the London team who are still swimming

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BRONZED AUSSIES: Kyle Chalmers, James Magnussen, Cameron McEvoy happy with Rio bronze. Photo Courtesy: Huff Post

McEvoy and Roberts have been mainstays in Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relays in London and Rio – missing a medal in 2012 and claiming bronze with James Magnussen and Kyle Chalmers in Rio – medals await them again if they can make the team.

McEvoy tops the psyche sheets in both the 50 and 100m freestyle at the “Vic States” and comes in third behind Olympic champion Mack Horton (Melbourne Vicentre) and Pan Pac champion Jack McLoughlin (Chandler) in the 200m freestyle and 34th in the 400m also led by “the big two” Horton and McLoughlin.

McEvoy, under coach Chris Nesbit at The Southport School group, knows he must get back to his 2016 Olympic Trials form of 47.04 to secure a spot of what will be a competitive 100m freestyle at this year’s Trials in June.

The Gold Coaster, who moved from long term coach Richard Scarce to the experienced Nesbitt two years ago, hit his straps in 2017, clocking 47.91 (seventh in the world) but has struggled to regain his sub 48 mojo in 2018 (outside the top 25) and 20th last year on 48.29.

But the one thing with McEvoy, he knows what works for him and he knows what he has to do.

Olympic champion and good friend Kyle Chalmers has set the pace so far in 2020 – with his world rankings chart-topper of 47.99 to win the South Australian States last month.

The men’s breaststroke will also capture the eye.

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RECORD SURGE: Chandler’s Zac Stubblety-Cook shows his record breaking style at the Queensland State Championships. Photo Courtesy: Medal Shots.

And after finishing on a 2019 personal best high of 2:07.28 at last December’s Queensland State Championships, Tokyo hopeful Zac Stubblety-Cook (Chandler) will have his first competitive taste of the Olympic year when he lines up in the 100 and 200m breaststroke.

He finished fourth on the 2019 rankings behind world champion and world record holder Anton Chupkov (RUS) 2:06.12, his fellow country-man and former world record holder Matthew Wilson (AUS) 2:06.67 and Ippei Watanabe (JPN)_ 2:06.73 in what is sure to develop into an intriguing battle for 200m Olympic breaststroke gold.

RECORD ENDING FINALE TO 2019 FOR ZAC

Meanwhile local Rio Olympian Koti Ngawati (Melbourne Sports And Aquatic Centre) is also in for a busy weekend with the freestyle/Imer entered in all four 100m events, freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly as well as the 200Im and 200m freestyle, as she also looks to stake her claim for Tokyo.

The men’s butterfly events will be a case of “the champ” Rio relay silver medallist David Morgan (TSS Aquatic) up against the local heroes “the challengers” Nunawading Matthew Temple and Bowen Gough over 100 and 200m butterfly.

VICTORIAN STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

PSYCHE SHEETS

RUNNING concurrently with the Victorian Open Championships will be the World Para Swimming World Series held in conjunction with World Para Swimming and Paralympics Australia.

It marks not only the first meet of the 2020 international World Para swimming season, but also the first time the Series has been held in a Paralympic year.

The event will feature more than100 world-class athletes from 15 different countries – including New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Canada and Japan – vie for gold, silver and bronze medals.

Australia’s finest para swimmers feature in the program led by six-time Paralympic golden girl Ellie Cole (Knox Pymble), three-time Para Games gold medallist from London and Rio Brenden Hall (Bellgravia Swim Team) and recent World Champions and Paralympic golden girls from Rio Tiffany Thomas Kane (Monte) and Lakeisha “Lucky” Patterson (Belgravia) and fellow 2016 gold medallist Rachael Watson (Chandler).

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COLE TRAIN: Six-time Paralympic golden girl Ellie Cole will be one of the star attractions at the World Para Series. Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia

The Series opener will also feature New Zealand’s most successful Paralympian Sophie Pascoe – a 15-time medallist – including nine gold from Beijing to London and Rio – who has Tokyo in her sights.

Twenty-three events will be held across the three days with heats starting at 9:00am and finals taking place at 6:00pm.

Spanning five months from February to June, the seven-event World Para Series travels to seven countries in five continents.

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SOPHIE’S CHOICE: Kiwi Paralympic queen Sophie Pascoe knows the perfect mix. Photo Courtesy: BW Media Photography

STARS ALIGN FOR WORLD PARA SERIES START

Stay tuned to Swimming Australia’s social media channels for live updates and results – FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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