Images courtesy of NBCOlympics.com on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro showing Jarrod Poort far in the lead.

Olympians Jarrod Poort (20th in Rio de Janeiro) and Chelsea Gubecka (15th in Rio de Janeiro) headline the Australian Open Water Swimming Championships this weekend on Brighton Beach in Adelaide.

It will be interesting to see how Poort handles his competition. “To swim a race from the front and have any chance at it paying off and working you need to be 100% fit and healthy and have put in months, if not more work targeting that race,” he said as he hinted that he would not take off like he did in Rio.

“So for me, this weekend will be about swimming smart and within myself and using some open water skills to my advantage. There is a lot of young up-and-coming kids which will make for a high class domestic field this year for our nationals. It is definitely going to be an exciting race with the combination of age and experience of someone like myself and Simon Huitenga, mixed in with the tough, hungry up-and-comers.”

It will be similarly interesting how Gubecka will kick-off this quadrennial and if she will continue her growth over the next few years leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

More than 430 swimmers will compete with 2.5 km, 5 km, 7.5 km and 10 km races.

In order to qualify for the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in July 2017, the top four Australians in the 10 km will qualify for the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup in Abu Dhabi where the top two will qualify for the Australian Dolphins Swim Team. The top two male and female swimmers in the 5 km race will be selected for the national team.

Other top swimmers at the championships will be Simon Huitenga, Kareena Lee, Kiah Melverton, Lachlan Colquhoun, two-time Olympian Jessica Ashwood, and international swimmers from New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Canada and Hong Kong.

The championships will start on January 27th with the men’s and women’s 10 km races. There is also a new race, 4 x 1.25 km relay with 28 teams entered. For more information, visit here.

Friday January 27th Schedule
#1 Men 14 & Open 10 km
#2 Boys 17-18 10 km Open Water
#3 Women 14 & Open 10 km Open Water
#4 Girls 17-18 10 km Open Water
#5 Boys 15-16 7.5 km Open Water
#6 Girls 15-16 7.5 km Open Water

Saturday January 28th Schedule
#7 Mixed 13&U 2.5 km
#8 Boys 13-14 5 km
#9 Girls 13-14 5 km
#10 Boys 15-16 5 km
#11 Girls 15-16 5 km
#12 Men 13 & Open 5000 Free Multi-Class
#13 Boys 17-18 5 km

#14 Women 13 & Open 5000 Free Multi-Class
#15 Girls 17-18 5 km

Sunday January 29th
#16 Men 14 & Open 5 km
#17 Women 14 & Open 5 km
#18 Mixed 13-14 5000 Free Relay
#19 Mixed 14 & Open 5000 Free Relay

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