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Para Swimmers Get Set for Trials

8 June 2021

Winter is setting in and the pools are getting colder, but it's coming up to the most important and heated time of the year for our Funky Trunks Para swimmers. It has taken five years of sacrifice and commitment, but Paralympians Blake Cochrane and Jacob Templeton will soon be pushing for the sought-after green and gold once again.

In what is usually a four-year endeavour, the COVID pandemic has meant our athletes have endured a longer-than-normal wait to trial for the Tokyo Team. The extended time has given our Funky Para Men more time to hone their skills, and on June 12-16 in Adelaide at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre, the men will be more than ready.

It has been a lifetime of training for Blake and Jake, USC Spartans teammates, who have experienced a Games hype before and understand the importance of performing when it matters. The older statesmen of the Para Dolphins, these two have competed consistently and with some solid times already this year. At the recent NSW Championships, Australian Championships and Sydney Open, the men stood on the medal dais on many occasions and are ready to now compete to represent Australia.

The Paralympic Games Trials in Adelaide will be held under the brightest of lights, with qualifying times set for each race within each Para classification. This is the only chance for these men to qualify for the 2021 Games, so the pressure is on!

3-time-Paralympian Blake Cochrane is absolutely no stranger to the bright lights and pressures of elite performance. The 2016 Rio silver medallist in the Men's SB7 100m Breaststroke is ready to do the dance again, but understands the importance of first getting his foot on the plane. This time around a lot is different for Blake. He is now married and a father, but his grit and determination has not wavered.

Cochrane will be competing in his pet event, the Men's 100m Breaststroke, on Day 4 at the Trials, but will also contest the 400m Freestyle on Day 1. Turns, starts and finishes have been his primary focus at training, with his time goal being 1:16.00, something he has only ever done once.

Teammate and Rio Paralympian Jake Templeton also has his eyes firmly set on the short-term, well aware of the importance of firstly performing when it counts at the Trials. Jake was a dual finalist in Rio, and his plans for 2021 are to improve on this. With some solid times already this year, Templeton will have a busy schedule at the 5-day Trials. The vision-impaired S13 swimmer will contest the 50m, 100m and 400m Freestyle events, as well as the 100m Backstroke.

Jake now owns his own coaching and personal training business, and has been using his knowledge to hone his own skills in the pool. 'I am aware of the importance of the 1%ers more than ever, and I've just been focusing on truly giving it absolutely everything I have every single day.'

The Trials are drawing ever so close now, and our Paralympic Funky Trunks men may still have some final preparations to endure, but they will be ready in June.

Check out their schedule:

Day 1 (June 12)  
Jake Templeton, Blake Cochrane 400m Freestyle
Day 2 (June 13)  
Jake Templeton 50m Freestyle
Day 4 (June 15)  
Blake Cochrane 100m Breaststroke
Jake Templeton 100m Freestyle
Day 5 (June 16)  
Jake Templeton 100m Backstroke

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