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Nationals an Olympic barometer: Aust coach

·2-min read

It's not the Olympic trials but this week's Australian swimming championships on the Gold Coast are a key step on the road to Tokyo for national coach Rohan Taylor.

Australia's leading swimmers including Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers and 400m freestyle world champion Ariane Titmus will all be in action during the five-day meet at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.

Taylor said athletes will be at different steps in their programs ahead of June's Olympic trials in Adelaide, meaning results could be quite mixed over the next few days but the meet was still of vital importance.

"Some may have rested a little bit for this meet, some may not have depending on who they are," Taylor said.

"It really will be for them, they'll go home and take stock of the performances, and we'll talk to them and see what kind of support they might need to just continue their preparation to ensure that they get to the Olympics and perform.

"That's the key.

"So this meet's about a bit of a checking point."

Chalmers and Titmus have both had time out of the pool recently.

Chalmers returned at the NSW State titles in March following shoulder surgery, while Titmus is making her return to competitive swimming on the Gold Coast after three months out with a shoulder issue of her own.

"Talking to their coaches, they're on track. They're here, they're ready to compete," Taylor said.

"They've been training, they're back to full training loads and obviously they're just being mindful ... but they're all good to go.

"They're tracking towards the Olympic trials and Olympics so this meet is a step along the way."

Competition gets underway on Wednesday night with the opening heats, with finals to be held in the morning - just as they will be in Tokyo.

"We had New South Wales states as a morning finals and then this meet and then the main meet so we're giving our athletes and coaches three chances to really practice that," Taylor said.

"It's all about just mentally preparing to be ready to race in the morning, this is why we're giving them opportunities.

"We didn't have that before Beijing and at the end of the day they're competitors, they're going to get up and race so it'll be right."