Swim­mers urged to toughen up

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

HEAD coach Jacco Ver­haeren wants a hard com­pet­i­tive edge from Aus­tralia’s swim­mers at Budapest’s World Cham­pi­onships as his team looks to re­bound from last year’s un­der­per­form­ing Rio Olympics.

The Dol­phins want to up their game when the world cham­pi­onships start on Sun­day af­ter win­ning three gold medals, four sil­ver and three bronze in Rio, but well un­der their tally pro­jec­tions.

Not one of their top rank­ings was con­verted into an Olympic gold medal as world lead­ers in­clud­ing Cate Camp­bell and Cameron McEvoy suc­cumbed to the crush­ing weight of home ex­pec­ta­tions.

Aus­tralia fin­ished second on the swim­ming medal tally, but was a dis­tant 23 medals away from the United States.

Olympic 400m freestyle cham­pion Mack Hor­ton is back to re­new his feisty ri­valry with Chi­nese su­per­star Sun Yang, and Emily See­bohm, Mitch Larkin and Bronte Camp­bell will de­fend their world crowns.

Dutch­man Ver­haeren has switched Aus­tralian swim­ming’s ap­proach to in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion with im­por­tant lead- up meets sched­uled closer to the big­ger events in a bid to toughen up his swim­mers.

“We cer­tainly had some great wins ( in Rio), but we also had some losses, un­doubt­edly,” Ver­haeren said.

“That’s why it’s very im­por­tant to ap­proach ev­ery tour­na­ment we go to in the most se­ri­ous way.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.