Olympic swimmers attend sprint camps
QUEENSLAND-BASED swimmers will play a big part as Australia's bid for Olympic relay golds begins in earnest.
Australian swim team members are at the AIS in Canberra for two sprint-relay camps, aimed at ensuring the men's and women's teams are ready to perform in London this July.
The men's camp began yesterday, while the women were set to get to work today.
The world championship winning men's 4x100m freestyle relay team will be represented at the three-day camp by James Magnussen, James Roberts, Matt Targett, Eamon Sullivan and Tommaso D'Orsogna, while medley swimmers Hayden Stoeckel, Daniel Arnamnart, Christian Sprenger and Jayden Hadler also joined the elite group yesterday.
Concentrating on preparing for the relays had been the focus for the teams ahead of the London Games, Swimming Australia head coach Leigh Nugent said.
"This will be the final relay specific camp for our men and women before we head to London in July, and our focus on preparing our relays has been a strong goal for the last four years," he said.
"The facilities at the AIS, especially the wetplate testing block and analysis system, have provided us with a real edge in looking at our starts and changeovers, and in relays at the Olympic Games the difference between gold, silver and bronze can come down to just that."
Australia won four relay medals at last year's world championships in Shanghai, including gold and silver for the sprint men, and six at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including two gold medals in the women's 4x100m medley relay and 4x200m freestyle relay.
Beijing gold medallists Leisel Jones, Libby Trickett, Emily Seebohm and Jessicah Schipper will head the women's camp, while Cate Campbell, Alicia Coutts, Belinda Hocking, Brittany Elmslie and Yolane Kukla will also attend.
The two, three-day camps will include training, relay changeover sessions for medley and 4x100m freestyle and detailed start and turn analysis as part of the AIS wetplate system.
Other Queensland swimmers Brenton Rickard, Cameron McEvoy, Leiston Pickett and Melanie Schlanger will miss the AIS camp to spend a month training at altitude in Mexico.