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World Series Para Wrap Up

21 February 2020

Jacob Templeton
Long standing F-Teamer Jacob Templeton warming up at MSAC last weekend

The first of the 6-leg International Paralympic Committee's Para World Series was held in Melbourne last week. The meet coupled as the 2020 Victorian Open Long Course Championships and featured many international para athletes including our very own longstanding F-Teamers Jacob Templeton and Blake Cochrane. For the duo it was the first of a limited string of competition opportunities in the lead up to the Olympics Games Trials in June. Around 70 Para athletes from 16 countries contested every individual event to be offered at the approaching Paralympic Games, giving athletes the best possible chance to practice and perfect their race plans and preparations. Australia's selection meet for Tokyo is just 4 months away. Off the back of the 2019 IPC World Championships, the Melbourne World Series was the first recognised international competition since the London Worlds back in September.

Blake and Jake
Left: Blake has recently become a father to baby Eli. Right: Jake and Blake back in 2016

Amidst a current block of quality training, Sunshine Coast USC Spartans Blake and Jake contested a combined 9 events. Off the back of their short course world records late last year and Blake's medal success in London, the pair saw the Melbourne experience as a chance to "race tough". One thing is a constant for the duo, however, and that is the reality that June is their priority as they look to earn the elusive green and gold tracksuit for another Paralympic Games each.

29-year-old F-Teamer Cochrane contested the 100 Freestyle, 200 IM and 100 Breast. The Dolphin veteran this year hopes to qualify for his 4th Paralympic Games. With the format in Melbourne being "multi-class", Blake swam his way to 6th in the Men's 100 Breast against a quality international field. For his classification (SB7) Blake was the fastest in his main event in Melbourne. With medals in the 100 Breaststroke at his first 3 Paralympic Games, Cochrane plans to stand on the dais again in 7 months' time. He now looks to the NSW State Championships in 3 weeks where his goal is to improve yet again to edge closer to the Paralympic Selection Time.

Templeton, also a Paralympian from the Rio Games, plans to gain selection for Tokyo and contested 6 events at the recent World Series. "The aim for this competition was to race under load and put together the best possible times with race skills and splits". In his chosen events; the S13 400 Free and 100 Back, Jake was the fastest for his classification, however he made finals in alternative events this time around. With the multi-class point scores dictating meet rankings, Jake earned finals spots in 3 events including the 50 Backstroke where he achieved his best result of 6th. "The events I don't race often are fun for variety but are great for learning skills, strengths and weaknesses to work on for the Paralympic events".

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