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Racing to Trials: Athlete Profiles

8 June 2019

Jack McLoughlin
Jack McLoughlin in poised and ready to dive into World Champs Trials.

Jack McLoughlin

Club:

Chandler Swimming Club

Racing In:

200m Freestyle

400m Freestyle

800m Freestyle

1500m Freestyle

Previous Achievements:

2019 FINA Champions Swim Series, Bronze medallist

2018 Pan Pacific Championships, Gold and Bronze medallist

2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold and silver medallist

2017 World Championships (LC)

2016 Olympic Games

What have you concentrated on most at training in preparation for Trials?

I have tried really hard to get my starts and turns skills up in the lead up to trials. I?ve noticed my turns on the international stage have never been as good as my swimming speed so I've been trying to work on those little things to get that 1% improvement which can be massive in swimming.

Is there one race that will be your main focus at Trials?

I will be focusing on just the whole week in general. I've got a pretty big race schedule and I will be focusing on the 400, 800 and 1500. It will be a big week trying to be competitive in all of those.

Have you experienced any obstacles in the lead up to Trials?

I've had a lot more university work and assessment than normal leading into trials but I find I tend to do better when I'm busy so it's been helpful. With my assessment finished, now I can concentrate solely on swimming.

Do you have any tips for staying focused ahead of a big event like this one?

I always tend to just try and stay as relaxed as possible, whether that's by having fun with family and friends or just going to the movies. When you race the race 15 times before it's even happened it can have a huge mental fatigue factor so I always just try and stay relaxed and have fun racing.

If you were to qualify for World Champs, what would that mean to you?

It would be my second World Champs so it will be a huge stepping stone looking towards the Tokyo Olympics. Sometimes it's hard being in Australia as you're far away from the really good international meets. If I make the team it will give me an excellent opportunity to race against the best in the world, which will be important in the lead up to Tokyo.

Travis Mahoney
Travis Mahoney has been training hard and is looking strong ahead of World Champs Trials.

Travis Mahoney

Club:

Marion Swimming Club

Racing In:

100m Backstroke

200m Backstroke

200m Individual Medley

Previous Achievements:

2018 Commonwealth Games, Finalist

2016 Olympic Games, Finalist

2014 World Championships (SC), Finalist

2014 Pan Pacific Championships, Finalist

2014 Commonwealth Games, Finalist

2012 World Championships (SC), Silver and Bronze medallist

What have you concentrated on most at training in preparation for Trials?

I've focused on the back half of my 200m IM, improving technically in the Breaststroke and improving my capacity to come home fast in the Freestyle. Over the past 6-8 months we have had a real focus on increasing strength and power as I shift my focus from the 400IM to the 200m IM.

Is there one race that will be your main focus at Trials?

While the 200m IM is my focus for World Champs Trails, I will also compete in the Backstroke events. I still enjoy swimming and racing so adding a few events into my race schedule, that aren't as much of a focus, is great.

Have you experienced any obstacles in the lead up to Trials?

Fortunately I've had no major obstacles. I've been very busy with university this semester as I am enrolled in three subjects. It takes a great deal of organisation and commitment to complete that and train full time but I'm managing well.

Do you have any tips for staying focused ahead of a big event like this one?

For me focus isn't a huge factor at an event like World Champs Trials. Race time is what you do all the hard work for - it's the fun part! Being locked in on what you need to do is important through training but once I get to racing I just concentrate on the process and let the results happen. As long as you can say to yourself that you did everything that you could to get your best performance I think you can be happy.

If you were to qualify for World Champs, what would that mean to you?

It would actually be my first long course World Championships. As it is the only major international meet I haven't raced at, qualifying for that would be very special and I would be extremely proud.

James McKechnie
James McKechnie proves that even a small club can help you achieve big dreams training at STARplex, a club with only about 70 swimmers.

James McKechnie

Club:

STARplex

Racing In:

100m Breaststroke

200m Breaststroke

200m Individual Medley

Previous Achievements:

2018 Commonwealth Games, Finalist

James McKechnie is relatively new to the international racing scene, having made his debut at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year. After making finals at Comm Games in the 50m Breaststroke, he established himself as one of Australia's up and coming talents. In order to gain more international race experience, James decided to compete at the FINA World Cup events in Japan and Singapore. It's not often that someone from such a small club can make it to the big leagues, but James has worked closely with his coach Stephen Garner, training hard in order to put himself in a position to be a serious contender at these Trials.

What have you concentrated on most at training in preparation for Trials?

My biggest focus in preparation into trials has been my ability to achieve a specific stroke rate during training.

Is there one race that will be your main focus at Trials?

The 100m Breaststroke is my main focus.

Have you experienced any obstacles in the lead up to Trials?

Not really. I've only had to battle a little sickness along the way but I've been fit and healthy in the lead up.

Do you have any tips for staying focused ahead of a big event like this one?

Just to focus on why you are training, what you want to achieve and the places you want to go.

If you were to qualify for World Champs, what would that mean to you?

It would be an amazing confidence boost leading into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games year!

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