Melissa Gorman swims to victory in the 10km event at the Australian open water championships in Sydney last year. Gorman will be at Evans Head this weekend for the ocean swim organised by the local surf club.
Melissa Gorman swims to victory in the 10km event at the Australian open water championships in Sydney last year. Gorman will be at Evans Head this weekend for the ocean swim organised by the local surf club. AAP

Gorman to defend her ocean crown

OLYMPIAN Melissa Gorman will have her last competitive swim before the London Games when she takes to the water for the Evans Head Ocean Swim on Sunday.

Gorman, 26, will line up as defending champion in the 750m - almost a sprint compared with the 10km open water event she aims to win a gold medal in London.

The Queenslander has 800m silver and bronze medals from the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games.

She finished 15th in the women's 10km open water and 17th in the 800m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Sunshine Coast swimmer Jack Burnham, the 2km winner from the inaugural Evans Head event last year, will also be back to defend his title.

Burnham won bronze medals in the 2011 and 2012 5km and 10km national open water championships.

Another swimmer of note lining up in the 2km on Sunday is Lennox Head's Jacqueline Freney, who will represent Australia in the Paralympic Games in London following the Olympics.

The Evans Head Ocean Swim is being organised by the Evans Head-Casino Surf Life Saving Club.

Spokesman Ray Adams said yesterday that entries had been coming in steadily.

"A lot of people wait to see what the weather's doing," he said.

"We're expecting a lot of race-day entries on Sunday morning."

The 750m swim will start at 9.30am and the 2km at 10am.

There will be a Dash For Cash at the Evans Head Aquatic Centre at 2pm on Saturday.

The event is the final of three legs in the Swell Ocean Swim Series following Yamba in January and Coffs Harbour in March.

Evans Head Bowling Club is putting up the prizemoney (2km swim male and female, first $600, second $250 and third 150) and Richmond Valley Council is providing logistical support.

"We really want to thank our local sponsors," Adams said.

"We couldn't do it without them."

All proceeds will go to the operations and junior programs of the Evans Head-Casino SLSC, which this year is celebrating 90 years of service to the community.



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