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Dolphins Face China & RSA In Super Series

Nov 17, 2012  - Craig Lord

Olympic gold medallists Alicia Coutts, Melanie Schlanger and Cate Campbell will headline the EnergyAustralia Swim Team for the inaugural 2013 BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series in Perth this January. 

Swimmers will compete for half a million dollars in prize money in what will be the first time the EnergyAustralia Swim Team has swum at home since 2009. The opposition for two days of battle in then water: China and South Africa. Top team gets Aus$100,000 for its war chest; top man and woman get 15,000; Relay wins get 8000; 2,500 on offer for a solo event win.

The series is Australia's response to the loss for its Duel with the United States after the world No1 turned its attentions to a clash with Europe that  has yet to develop into the fascinating meet that it could be, swimming's answer to the Ryder Cup.

Australia's 30-strong team will include Olympic silver medallists James Magnussen and Christian Sprenger in action, while the wider event will include a water polo tournament and an Open Water Challenge in the beautiful Swan River, scene of the inaugural FINA world title back in 1991, for elite and recreational swimmers alike. 

The latter is an effort to borrow commercial entity from athletics, in which elite marathon runners race for prestige as well as prizes as the amateurs and their entry fees compete in their own challenge of fun, fitness and raising funds for charity.

Dolphins head coach Leigh Nugent nodded to the need to be battle-ready by the time Rio 2016 comes round, adding: “China won five gold medals in London and are a renowned force in world swimming, while South Africa has plenty of talent in the pool as well. This meet is not only a great opportunity to race for many of the swimmers so early in the calendar year, but also a great chance for our athletes to come together and race as the Australian team.”

Sprenger, now 26 and still breaking Australian short-course records - his latest falling in the 100m breaststroke at the Singapore round of the world cup last weekend, looked back on a fine year and his London 2012 silver in the 100m but has already turned his mind to the challenge ahead against the Olympic champion: "It has been a year to remember that’s for sure, and hopefully my form can carry through to January. I had a real battle with South African Cameron Van der Burgh during the Olympic final and to race swimmers of his quality, right here in Australia is a great opportunity for us."

Cate Campbell, 20, is looking forward to the challenge at the height of the Australian summer: “It was a mixed Olympic Games for me, winning gold on the opening night was fantastic but then getting sick during the meet wasn’t part of the plan, so it will be nice to get back in the water to race. To represent Australia is always a great honour and something we all look forward to, but to do it in Perth, in front of home crowd will be special."

The Australia coaching staff includes Denis Cotterell, who also coaches half the China team for a part of the year.


  • Men: Daniel Arnamnart (NSW), Ashley Delaney (VIC), Thomas Fraser-Holmes (QLD), Jayden Hadler (NSW), Mitchell Larkin (QLD), James Magnussen (NSW), David McKeon (NSW), Kenrick Monk (QLD), Ryan Napoleon (QLD), Brenton Rickard (QLD), James Roberts (QLD), Christian Sprenger (QLD), Matthew Targett (VIC), Daniel Tranter (NSW), Chris Wright (QLD)
  • Women: Bronte Barratt (QLD), Cate Campbell (QLD), Bronte Campbell (QLD), Alicia Coutts (QLD), Blair Evans (WA), Sally Foster (SA), Samantha Hamill (QLD), Belinda Hocking (VIC), Sarah Katsoulis (VIC), Yolane Kukla (QLD), Meagen Nay (QLD), Kylie Palmer (QLD), Leiston Pickett (QLD), Melanie Schlanger (QLD), Emily Seebohm (QLD)
  • Head Coach: Leigh Nugent
  • Coaches: Glenn Baker, Brant Best, Michael Bohl, Matthew Brown, Denis Cotterell, Simon Cusack, John Fowlie, Ron McKeon

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au

Website: www.aquaticsuperseries.com.au

Prizes will be given for 

  • 1. Male Swimmer of the Meet
  • 2. Female Swimmer of the Meet
  • 3. Overall Winning Team
  • The Swimmer of the Meet will be determined on FINA points, which means that a world record might score less than one just shy of that, the federation's points system having caused that kind of conundrum on several occasions before.
  • The Overall Winning Team will be determined on points: 7 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 for the finishing order in each race, with points only awarded if the swimmer achieves the qualifying standard for the event, to ensure quality.
  • Points for the 800 Freestyle will be determined by adding up the times of each nation's top 2, points awarded on the lowest accumulative time. 
  • DQ equals no points.

The money in Aus$:

  • Individual: 1-2-3: 2500; 1500; 750
  • Relay:  8000; 4000; 2000
  •  Overall (two prize categories, men and women):  15000; 10000; 5000
  • Winning Team: 100,000; second - 50,000; third (and last) 25,000.