Aussies make a splash in the pool at Outgames
While the 3rd Asia Pacific Outgames opening ceremony doesn't take place until 6pm this evening, many of our Aussie swimmers have already taken to the pool this morning for their first competitive swims.
According to swimming co-ordinator Neil Ludvigsen, swimmers began arriving at the pool at 7am to commence their warm-ups, with the first race kicking off at 8am. With some 130 swimmers competing across a variety of strokes, the teams managed to get in over 80 races in a few short hours.
Competitors swam in breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke and butterfly across a range of age groups as well as competing in the men’s and women’s and mixed freestyle relays.
Amongst the teams vying for the top honours in the pool were the Wett Ones (Sydney), Aqualicious (Brisbane), Glamourhead Sharks (Melbourne) and the Darwin Stingers. New Zealand also made a showing in the water, fielding members from Different Strokes from Wellington and Team Auckland.
A member of the Darwin Stingers, (though he’s not competing in this year’s Outgames) Ludvigsen says he loves the friendly competition of the swimming pool. “It’s clear there’s some rivalry going on between some of the Glamourhead Sharks and the Wett Ones, who have gone against each other in the pool before,” he tells GNN.
Ludvigsen thinks this just makes for a more entertaining event. “There are petty rvialries and you can see a bit of trash talk going on – not that I approve of that of course,” he laughs. “But it does make things more interesting.”
His favourite event is the relay – and he suggests anyone planning on coming out to the pool at Casuarina to watch the swimming, should make sure they are around to watch the medley relays.
“Practically all the swimmers swim in about six races and there will be just about every swimmer in and out of the pool for about ten minutes – and everybody gets into it and screams and yells,” he says. “It reinforces the fun of the games – and of any swimming meet really – it makes for a great ten to fifteen minutes to wrap up the meet.”
Ludvigsen says also swimmers often do better in the relay events. “Normally people are very serious about their personal times but often they will swim better in the relay. There’s nothing like getting in the pool and realising you’re letting the team down – it pushes every bit of adrenalin into your arms and legs and people often swim their best times.”
The Outgames Swimming competition will continue over the next two days at Casuarina Swimming Pool Gsnel Park, Casaurina from 8am on Sunday May 11, and Monday May 12. Entry is free for spectators.
Image: Competitors line-up for the first race of the day.