Mount A var­sity swim­mer to com­pete in Olympic tri­als

Sackville Tribune - - SPORTS -

Ev­ery now and again, an ath­lete will get a on­cein-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence. For Mount Al­li­son swim­mer Mitchell Peters, that mo­ment will hap­pen in Can­cun, Mex­ico on April 24.

He will be com­pet­ing in a gru­el­ing 10 kilome­tre open-water swim in hopes of earn­ing him­self a spot to swim in the Olympic semi­fi­nals to be held in Por­tu­gal June 29.

Swim Canada has se­lected eight swim­mers, four men and four women, to at­tend this in­ter­na­tional event. How­ever, from a swim that took place in Brazil last month, there has al­ready been one male Cana­dian swim­mer cho­sen to rep­re­sent Canada, mean­ing that Mitchell will be com­pet­ing against three other swim­mers for the last avail­able spot.

Ear­lier this sea­son, Mitchell qual­i­fied for the Olympic tri­als in the 100-200 and 400 free pool events. He was given ap­proval to at­tend the event in Can­cun by Swim Canada and the Cana­dian Olympic swim team coach based on the re­sults of those events.

He has been train­ing since the start of the school year, swim­ming three to four hours ev­ery day in or­der to pre­pare to face the stronger in­ter­na­tional field.

Each of the ath­letes present, 40 swim­mers from across South and North Amer­ica, will also be try­ing to earn them­selves one of four po­si­tions that their coun­try is of­fer­ing; two males and two fe­males.

“This is a new event for Mitchell so I’m not mak­ing any pre­dic­tions, so many things have to go right and so many things have to fall in place for the swim to be suc­cess­ful,” says coach John Peters

“Mitchell has had a great year so far and we are both very ex­cited. We leave for Mex­ico April 20 and will meet with the Cana­dian team and spend a cou­ple days train­ing on the course.”

A lot of things can go wrong in an open water swim; it all de­pends on the weather and the tides. Swim­mers can run into waves, jel­ly­fish, and even sharks - but at the mo­ment his big­gest dis­ad­van­tage will be that he has not swam in open water con­di­tions since midOc­to­ber when he com­peted and won the 10 kilome­tre swim held in Ber­muda.

How­ever, de­spite this, Mitchell re­mains op­ti­mistic.

“My goal for this race is to break two hours which will hope­fully put me in a po­si­tion to ad­vance to Por­tu­gal,” he says. “My prac­tices have got­ten sig­nif­i­cantly longer and harder since my last swim meet and I feel like I am in the best shape of my life. It is go­ing to be a fun and ex­cit­ing time in Can­cun.”

If Mitchell suc­ceeds in qual­i­fy­ing for Por­tu­gal, he may be­come one of 25 male swim­mers from across the world se­lected to go to the London 2012 Olympics.

In or­der to com­pete, he has re­ceived some limited fund­ing from both Mount A and Swim New Brunswick, which will come in use­ful for cov­er­ing the cost of the ven­ture.

“I fig­ure the race will cost around $5,000 but it’s one of those once-in-life op­por­tu­ni­ties, so in our opin­ion it’s worth tak­ing a shot,” says coach Peters. “Olympic Games only take place ev­ery four years so it’s now or never.”

Sackville’s Mitchell Peters will com­pete in a gru­el­ing 10 kilome­tre open-water swim in hopes of earn­ing him­self a spot to swim in the Olympic semi-fi­nals to be held in Por­tu­gal June 29.

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