Queensland swimmers on target for Games
AUSTRALIAN swim coach Jacco Verhaeren has praised the efforts of young guns Elijah Winnington and Ariarne Titmus, saying their Queensland championships efforts bode well for next April's Commonwealth Games.
Winnington's victory in the 200m freestyle, and second placing to Olympic champion Mack Horton in the 400m, showed the Gold Coast teen is on track to snare a place in his home Games.
At just 17, the Bond University squad member, who trains with Cameron McEvoy under coach Richard Scarce, is pushing some of the country's best.
"It's exciting to see somebody like Elijah Winnington continues his progress and is really knocking on the door of the national team," Verhearen said.
"Of course, we all appreciate that that still needs to happen and he's in particularly strong races like the 200m and 400m freestyle.
"There's no easy races to make the team but he's definitely put himself forward this week and again in training."
Brisbane-based Ariarne Titmus had already announced herself after making her international debut at this year's world championships.
But her performances to win the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle treble this week continue to impress Verhearen.
"Ariarne Titmus, of course, with a national record in the 400m freestyle shows great potential," he said.
Titmus also set a national age record in the 200m freestyle and is confident she can go faster again at trials as she chases the benchmark set by American world record-holder Katie Ledecky.
"She already made her entry to the national team in Budapest with good performances there.
"But she seems to continue to move on.
"Those are two of the younger standouts.
"But across the board, with all the athletes that are trying to achieve these Commonwealth Games, they're very good."
Verhaeren said the timing of various state titles across the country worked in favour of swimmers preparing for the Commonwealth Games this season, with next month's Victoria and NSW championships just four weeks before Games trials.
"That is definitely the beauty of this season that there are a few more competition opportunities with Vic state and NSW states followed four weeks later by trials and then Commonwealth Games," he said.
"It's a great opportunity for the whole team and the athletes to grow that experience and get that quality in."