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Stars of the Aussie swim team who sharpened up on Phuket

Top Aussie Swimmers Use Phuket to Take on the World

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
PHUKET: Thanyapura has provided high performance tune-ups for some of Australia's best medal hopes at the 15th FINA World Championships beginning on Friday in Barcelona.

Some of the top names in Australian swimming have convened at Thanyapura's world class Phuket sports facilities, including London Olympic gold medallist Brittany Elmslie, Beijing Olympic gold medallist Bronte Barratt, Australia's ''first couple'' of backstroke, Meagan Nay and Mitch Larkin, Grant ''Grunzo'' Irvine, who clocked the fastest 200m butterfly time in the world this year at Australia's national world championship trials in Adelaide in April, and Ned McKendry, a member of the fifth-placed men's 200m relay team in London.

Australian National Women's coach Michael Bohl presided over the specially targeted sessions gauged to wring the last ounce of performance from athletes during the crucial tapering period ahead of the world titles.

The visiting swimmers are key members of a legendary national team nursing wounded pride following a sub-par performance by its own world-beating standards at the London Olympics last year.

Ms Elmslie, a 19-year-old from Nambour, Queensland, held a nation transfixed when she swam the key leg of the women's 200m freestyle relay at the London Olympics to win Australia its only gold medal in the pool.

Last week she blew away her competition in the women's 200m freestyle at the TYR Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, a milestone meet ahead of the World Championships, and also took the women's 50m and 100m freestyle crowns comfortably.

Ms Elmslie will contest the 50m and 100m butterfly and up to three relays at the World Championships.

Ms Nay is another swimmer on Phuket who has captured headlines and imaginations: her father, Robbie Nay, was a freestyle relay finalist at the 1972 Munich Olympics and tragically died in a car crash when Ms Nay was just four.

Mr Irvine, meanwhile, missed a place on the 2012 Olympic team by just 0.27 of a second, and is out to atone for last year's disappointment.

Bronte Barratt was part of the Australian gold medal-winning 200m freestyle relay team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. A year before that, Ms Barratt burst onto the scene by breaking one of the oldest records in swimming set in the women's 400m freestyle by Tracey Wickham 30 years ago.

Her career has also been set apart by her ongoing duel with childhood best friend and fellow Albany Creek, Queensland, native Kylie Palmer.

The visiting swimmers all train with legendary Australian coach Michael Bohl in Brisbane, and were taking part in a high performance tune-up clinic at Thanyapura until last Sunday.

The Australian swimming team join a who's who of world swimming to grace Thanyapura's Olympic pool in recent months. Stars from the Danish, Italian, Chinese and British national squads have sparkled at Thanyapura in the past six months, utilising Thanyapura's three-dimensional coaching approach for the body, mind and soul to coax new levels of performance from world class athletes.

Besides Thanyapura's Olympic-standard 50m and 25m pools with state of the art timekeeping and technical support, Thanyapura hosted the Australian swimmers at Thanyapura Sports Hotel, Asia's first dedicated hotel for athletes.

The 23ha campus also offers the best available resistance training equipment and one of Asia's most advanced fitness centres, Thanyapura Integrative Health Centre and its sophisticated range of physiotherapy, diet and innovative health programs, the mental edge conferred by Thanyapura Mind Centre through mind training and visualisation sessions, and Thanyapura's famed organic cuisine at DiVine.

Mr Bohl said: ''This is about giving the swimmers a bit of a change of scene in a world class island resort, while conducting the sort of high performance tune up clinics that Thanyapura is becoming renowned for,'' he said.

''It's time to focus on the future - the immediate future being Barcelona of course, and beyond that the lead up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

''To achieve this, we wanted to train in a centre that supports the same ideals as us in terms of sporting excellence. Thanyapura is just that and the Aquatics Academy is without doubt the most comprehensive and well-equipped swimming training facility in the region,'' he added.

Thanyapura President Mr Robert Hauck said he was delighted to add Australia to the list of prominent swimming nations to begin what he hoped would be ongoing partnerships with Thanyapura.

''Australia has been a standard bearer for swimming and will continue to be a great force in the sport.

''It's a proud moment for Thanyapura to welcome them to Phuket, and I'm confident our facilities, support and three-dimensional approach will help Mr Bohl and his team in their quest for performance improvement.''

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You can bet the ranch they know what red flags on the beach mean,even olympic swimming champions wouldnt consider going in with those displayed,why do people know more than the champions and persist in going in perilous waters for a swim ignoring flags and requests by lifeguards not to do so.

Posted by slickmelb on July 19, 2013 04:18


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