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Cotterell gets behind Coast swimmer
6 years, 7 months ago Posted in: News 0

MASTER swim coach Denis Cotterell says Swimming Australia made the right decision in relaxing selection criteria to allow several athletes to take their place on the world championships team.

Miami has five swimmers heading to July’s world championships in Shanghai to compete in pool and open water events, with national 800m champion Katie Goldman a discretionary pick.

Goldman won the 800m in 8min 28.49sec, just over one-and-a-half seconds outside the automatic qualifying time.

But with the 18-year-old having met the standard previously, she was included in the team and is set to reap the rewards of strong international competition ahead of next year’s London Olympic Games.

“They absolutely did the right thing,” Cotterell said of the decision to relax the criteria for several swimmers.

“Before an Olympics, you’ve got to get the best experience you can. Probably half the team wouldn’t have been to worlds before.

“Some young ones have been given that opportunity.”

Cotterell said the policy had worked in the past, throwing up Andrew Lauterstein as an example.

The former Gold Coast swimmer was included in the 2007 world championships team as a discretionary pick and repaid the selectors’ faith with a bronze medal behind Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly at the Beijing Games a year later.

“The (qualifying) times were very tough at the outset,” Cotterell said.

“It’s been (based on) top 16 (in the world) in the past and it was top 12 this time, in some cases top 10.”

Goldman’s potential for improvement is immense, with Cotterell set to target technical areas of her 16-lap event — such as the start and turns — for improvement.

“She trains very hard but there are other technical areas that she has to address,” he said.

“At that age, you can always continue to improve your fitness and strength.”

Goldman will be joined by Miami clubmates Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Jade Neilsen (both pool), Bonnie MacDonald and Danielle DeFrancesco (open water) at the world championships.

Southport’s Brenton Rickard, Leiston Pickett and Sam Ashby and Coast talent Meagen Nay, James Roberts and ironman Ky Hurst will also compete in Shanghai.

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