All-rounder Emma McKeon is a chance for plenty of medals. Picture: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images
All-rounder Emma McKeon is a chance for plenty of medals. Picture: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

The stars to watch at swim trials

WITH the Commonwealth Games just weeks away, Australia's best swimmers are set to battle it out on the Gold Coast for the chance to represent their country on home soil.

These are swimmers and races you need to see at the Australian Swimming Trials, which are being held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.

FIVE SWIMMERS TO WATCH

EMMA MCKEON

Age: 23

McKeon has been Australia's most successful swimmer of the past two years, winning six medals at the world championships and four at the Rio Olympics and is set to be a star of the Gold Coast Games. She will add the gruelling 200m butterfly to her program at trials, mixing it with the 200m freestyle on the opening night of competition on Wednesday and, if all goes to plan, could challenge Susie O'Neill and Ian Thorpe's record of six gold at a single Games.

 

KYLE CHALMERS

Age: 19

The surprise gold medallist in the 100m freestyle in Rio at just 18, Chalmers has had a rocky road since the Games, facing heart surgery last year that kept him out of the world championships.

To make his return on the Gold Coast, he needs to negotiate the fastest 100m field ever assembled in Australia.

Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers hopes to qualify after having heart surgery last year. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers hopes to qualify after having heart surgery last year. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

ARIARNE TITMUS

Age: 17

Titmus burst on to the scene last year, making the world championship team in the 400m and 800m freestyle and finishing just outside the medals in the 400m. The swimmer known as "The Terminator'' continues to make exponential improvements and is set to be one of the stars of this week's trials as she chases the marks set by world leader Katie Ledecky.

Teenager Ariarne Titmus is a star in the making. Picture: Mark Cranitch
Teenager Ariarne Titmus is a star in the making. Picture: Mark Cranitch

MACK HORTON

Age: 21

Horton says he feels no immense pressure as an Olympic gold medallist but there's little doubt he sets the tone for Australia's male distance swimmers. Without a major title in his pet 1500m distance, Horton is likely to lay the platform in next weekend's final for an even better showing at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

 

EMILY SEEBOHM

Age: 25

Seebohm was Australia's only individual gold medallist at the world championships last year, winning the 200m backstroke after a battle with endometriosis. Expect to see her dominating the backstroke events, despite pressure from a host of rising stars.

Emily Seebohm is Australia’s only current world champion. Picture: AAP Image/David Mariuz
Emily Seebohm is Australia’s only current world champion. Picture: AAP Image/David Mariuz

THE RACES YOU MUST SEE

MEN'S 100M FREESTYLE

The fastest field assembled in Australia sees five men who have broken the 48-second barrier fighting for only three individual spots. Olympic champion Chalmers, James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy are up against veteran James Roberts and young gun Jack Cartwright. Don't miss it.

 

WOMEN'S 100M FREESTYLE

Cate Campbell has dominated this race domestically and it would surprise if she doesn't again. Coming back after missing last year's world championships, Campbell is flying and could make a statement in the final. Will be pushed all the way by younger sister Bronte, squadmate Shayna Jack and all-round star Emma McKeon.

Bronte and Cate Campbell pictured during the Womens Open 100m Freestyle at the Swimming Queensland 2017 McDonalds Queensland Championships at the Sleeman Swimming Centre, Brisbane 11th of December 2017. (AAP Image/Josh Woning)
Bronte and Cate Campbell pictured during the Womens Open 100m Freestyle at the Swimming Queensland 2017 McDonalds Queensland Championships at the Sleeman Swimming Centre, Brisbane 11th of December 2017. (AAP Image/Josh Woning)

WOMEN'S 100M BACKSTROKE

Former world champion Seebohm leads a cracking field which includes rising stars Minna Atherton, Kaylee McKeown and Madi Wilson. Expect several finalists to dip under the one-minute mark.

 

MEN'S 200M FREESTYLE

One of the toughest races on the program with Australia boasting incredible depth in the event. Horton was a surprise winner last year and while he will swim it again, he is out for a relay spot and hopes he doesn't claim an individual berth. But McEvoy, Chalmers, Daniel Smith, David McKeon and Alex Graham will be among the pack along with rising star Elijah Winnington.

 

Mack Horton is not focusing on the 200m freestyle, but hopes to secure a relay spot. Picture: Clive Rose/Getty Images
Mack Horton is not focusing on the 200m freestyle, but hopes to secure a relay spot. Picture: Clive Rose/Getty Images

WOMEN'S 200M BUTTERFLY

McKeon has entered this event and she and coach Michael Bohl will leave it until the last minute to decide whether she races it on the opening night along with the 200m freestyle. If she does, expect her to set a time that's competitive internationally as she looks to add it to her Commonwealth Games program. Gold Coast teenager Laura Taylor is another one to watch.

 

WHEN TO TUNE IN

Wednesday: 8pm live on 7TWO,
9pm live on Channel 7

Thursday: 8pm live on 7TWO,
9pm Channel 7

Friday: 7.30pm live on 7TWO,
8.30pm Channel 7

Saturday:8pm live on 7TWO,
9pm Channel 7

 


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