Ackermann eyes Aust age titles

WARWICK swimmer Max Ackermann will back up from last week's open nationals as one of 1517 swimmers from Australia and New Zealand competing in the 2011 Australian Age Swimming Championships at the new South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Marion on April 18-23.

Ackermann swam three personal best times in backstroke in the nationals and world championship trials and was 10th in the semi finals of the 50m backstroke.

Swimmers from 12-18 years compete in age group, with almost 5000 entries, including 380 relay entries.

Every gold medal winner at the Australian Age Championships will be invited to the National Youth Camp in Thredbo during September, while the championships will act as selection trials for the World Junior Championships to be held in Lima, Peru, and the Commonwealth Youth Games in Isle of Man in September.

Commonwealth Games silver medallists Samantha Marshall, from Sydney, and Tessa Wallace, from Caloundra, will contest the breaststroke events in the 17-18 years, while Kenneth To, who was last week named in team to contest the 2011 FINA World Championship team in Shanghai, will swim his pet event the 200m IM in the boys 17-18 years.

South Australian backstroke specialists Whitney Ireland, Jenni O'Neil and Ben Edmonds will look to lead the way for the locals, while Bonnie Macdonald, Jessicah Ashwood and Olympic bronze medallist Cate Campbell will be some of the Australians to watch during the six days.

Swimming Australia national youth coach Vince Raleigh said the competition was the next step in finding future Olympians and he would show particular interest in swimmers aged 14, 15 and 16 years.



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