SOME of the best young swimmers from Australia and New Zealand have arrived in Wagga for two days of high-level swimming competition.
About 70 swimmers aged 13 and up are competing in Wagga tonight and tomorrow as part of the Trans Tasman Championship.
The championships have already included two meets at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, and will wrap up with two days of competition in Melbourne when the swimmers leave Wagga.
The event has been a major stepping stone in the careers of champion Australian swimmers like Bronte Barratt, who used the meet as a pathway to senior representative teams.
Swimming Australia high performance youth coach Vince Raleigh said the event was designed to give young swimmers the chance to experience the conditions elite swimmers face in senior competition.
“We’re preparing our junior swimmers for future Australian swimming teams and competitions,” Raleigh said.
“The series is eight days long, the same as at major events like the Olympic Games, and by putting the swimmers through a schedule of travelling and competing, they get used to coping with travel, recovery and changes in environment.”
To be eligible for Trans Tasman selection, swimmers must not have represented Australia yet at events like the long course World Championships, Pan Pacific Games, Commonwealth Games or Olympics.
Australia has two teams entered in the event – Australia Green and Australia Gold – along with a New Zealand team.
Heading into the two rounds of competition at Wagga, Australia Green held a 49-point lead, sitting on 265 points, followed by Australia Gold on 222 and New Zealand on 216.
Keep checking WaggaNow for more details and results from the Trans Tasman meet.