Published: Nov 30, 2012 11:17:24 AM Updated: Nov 30, 2012 04:37:19 PM
FINA World Cup Champion Kenneth To will lead a 19-strong EnergyAustralia Swim Team to Turkey next week for the 11th FINA World Short Course Championships in Istanbul.
The Championships in a 25m pool, held every two years, will run from Wednesday December 12 to Sunday December 16 at the Sinan Erdem Arena, Istanbul.
The pocket rocket from Sydney will compete in four events at in Turkey including the 50m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley and the 100m individual medley, in which he currently holds the Australian and All Comers short course records.
At the World Short Course Championships in Dubai in 2010, To finished fifth in the 100m individual medley but will be looking to move up on to the medal dais this year, following his domination of the event across the European and Asian legs of the World Cup series.
“To be able to stand on the podium representing Australia at a World Championship level would be a great achievement,” To said.
After narrowly missing out on Olympic selection in March at the EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships, To’s short course success has given him a renewed confidence in his ability, as well as a bonus $100,000 in prize money from the World Cup series.
“I’m feeling really good after my performance at the World Cup and hopefully my success will be playing on my competitors minds,” To said.
The World Cup also produced outstanding results for short course specialist Rachel Goh who will no doubt be keen to replicate her success from the series where she came away with nine individual gold medals.
With a silver medal to her name from the 50m backstroke at Dubai in 2010, the Victorian doesn’t have far to go to take top spot. But it could be a battle for backstroke bragging rights with Goh’s teammate Grace Loh also in good form.
London Olympians Angie Bainbridge, Tommaso D’Orsogna and Sally Foster will also join the team with the three AIS based swimmers opting against an immediate break following London and stepping onto the world stage again, just months after the Games.
The Australian team will also face tough competition in multiple Olympic medallists from team USA Ryan Lochte, Allison Schmitt and Jessica Hardy as well as Britain’s five-time Commonwealth Games medallist Fran Halsall.
Despite the strong international opponents, and a number of new swimmers competing on their first senior team, the Australian’s could be a surprise force in Turkey.
The Denis Cotterell coached distance duo of Matt Levings and Jordan Harrison will step up to their first senior team, ready to push each other all the way to the wall in the 800m and 1500m freestyle.
While Queenslanders Ellen Fullerton and Grant Irvine, who, like To, finished just outside Olympic qualification, will be looking to further their international experience leading into Rio.
The team will leave Australia on Tuesday December 4 with all finals broadcast live on ONE HD at 4:00am AEST while the heats will be broadcast on delay on ONE – from 1am AEST leading into the live finals.
For a full list of results or more information about the Championships go to http://www.fina.org.au
2012 Australian Swim Team FINA World Short Course Championships
Angie Bainbridge, 23 (Hunter, NSW)
Ashley Delaney, 26 (Nunawading, VIC)
Tommaso D'Orsogna, 21 (West Coast, WA)
Sally Foster, 27 (Central Aquatic, WA)
Ellen Fullerton,20 (Chandler, QLD)
Rachel Goh, 26 (Nunawading, VIC)
Marieke Guehrer, 26 (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC)
Jordan Harrison, 17 (Miami, QLD)
Robert Hurley, 24 (SOPAC, NSW)
Grant Irvine, 21 (St Peters Western, QLD)
Sarah Katsoulis, 28 (Nunawading, VIC)
Jarrod Killey, 21 (Hunter, NSW)
Matthew Levings, 18 (Miami, QLD)
Grace Loh, 21 (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC)
Travis Mahoney, 22 (Nunawading, VIC)
Samantha Marshall, 20 (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC)
Kyle Richardson, 25 (Chandler, QLD)
Brianna Throssell, 16 (Perth City, WA)
Kenneth To, 20 (Trinity Grammar, NSW)
Leigh Nugent (National Head Coach)
Matthew Brown (Trinity Grammar, NSW)
Denis Cotterell (Miami QLD)
Tracey Menzies (AIS)
Ian Pope (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC)
Rohan Taylor (Nunawading, VIC)