Samantha Hamill
Samantha Hamill Cade Mooney

Qualifying times for world champs bagged by swim coach

PROMINENT Kawana Waters coach Peter Gartrell says the qualifying times for this year's swimming world championships are "ridiculous".

Gartrell has made the comment on the eve of the national swimming championships in Adelaide, which double as the world championship trials and start today.

The veteran mentor said one of his charges, dual Olympian Samantha Hamill, would have to shave about half a second off her 200m butterfly personal best to have a chance of making the team for Barcelona.

He said the qualifying times were established by former Swimming Australia head coach Leigh Nugent.

While Nugent is gone and Swimming Australia has a new chief executive and high-performance manager, Gartrell does not believe the qualifying times will be lowered.

When asked about Hamill's chances of making the team, he said: "It's a tough call that one, because they've upped the ante with the qualifying times. It's a bit ridiculous.

"It looks like it won't be a very big team."

To book a berth for Barcelona, a competitor has to finish in the top two and post a qualifying time.

Gartrell said: "These were the times put in by the old administration. Now we've got a new crowd running Swimming Australia.

"I'm not sure they'll adhere to these standards or whether they're going to change things.

"They might come out with egg on their face if they change it now."

Hamill, who is chasing her first open national title, will also swim the 400m individual medley in Adelaide.

Gartrell said Hamill's PB for the 200m fly was 2:07.6sec.

SHE competed in the 200m fly in London, but bombed out in the heats.

Gartrell said Hamill's 400m IM personal best of 4:37.8sec was under the qualifying time.

"We're hoping she can (qualify for Barcelona)," he said.

"She's training well and we're going into the meet optimistic."

Gartrell also coaches talented teenager Remy Fairweather at Kawana Waters Swim Club.

Much is expected of Fairweather, who has recently turned 16. At last year's nationals, she recorded an A-qualifying time in the 800m in coming third.

She also finished third in the 400m freestyle.

The other Coast athletes competing in Adelaide are Brittany Elmslie, Melanie Schlanger, George O'Brien, Tiani Gilmore, Isaiah Nelson, Chelsea Gubecka, Rebecca Creedy and Kerryn Spinks.



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