Although the UniRoos swim team has had to overcome hot and humid conditions and over 24 hours of travel they are ready to kick into action in the pool at the 2019 Napoli Summer Universiade.
The 26-strong team arrived in the Athletes’ Village late last week and jumped straight into training.
“It’s taken the team a while to adjust. They are starting to swim fast now, and I think we got past that limbo stage when you’re three or four days out and now we are focused and ready to go,” Head Coach Leigh Nugent said.
“It’s been very hot and humid at the pool. The warmup pool is excellent and there will be no excuses for people not producing.”
The World University Games competition his highly competitive and will give the team a chance to be in an Olympic environment preparing them for further international campaigns.
On the men’s side ones to watch include William Yang (Architecture & Planning, The University of Sydney) who defeated Commonwealth Games medallist Mitch Larkin the 50m backstroke at the 2019 Australian Swimming Championships and Olympian Jacob Hansford (Business, Australian College of Physical Education) who is looking to get some key international competition ahead of Tokyo 2020.
For the women, keep an eye on Deakin University health student Sophie Caldwell who qualified second fastest in heats for the 400m Individual Medley at the recent world championship trials, behind experience campaigner Blair Evans and daughter of Olympian Greg Rogers, Dahlas Rogers (Information Technology, University of Sunshine Coast) who is on the cusp of making the Dolphins senior squad.
“Our goals are to try and shift as many of our swimmers into finals as we can and out of that we are definitely fishing to win a few medals,” Nugent said.
“I think we’ve got some people that are capable of medalling for sure and if we can get a couple of gold out of that, that would be great.”
The Uniroos have a strong record in swimming at the Universiade, collecting 86 medals, including 22 gold. Famous names to have captured gold include Mark Kerry, Graeme Brewer, Susie and Rob Woodhouse, Jon Seiben and Cate Campbell.
Australia claimed three medals, two of which were gold in Taipei two years ago and six athletes from that team went on to achieve selection at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, including Griffith University’s Kiah Melverton and Leiston Pickett.
The swimming competition begins on Thursday 4 July at 9:30 CEST (17:30 AEST) and finishes on Wednesday 10 July. All semifinals and finals will be live streamed via FISU at https://fisu.vhx.tv/browse.