Remy Fairweather could be the “next big thing”.
Remy Fairweather could be the “next big thing”. Nicola Brander

Remy chasing Olympic swim spot

ONE of the nation's most exciting young swimming prospects, Remy Fairweather (pictured), is primed to press her claims for an Olympic berth at the Australian Swimming Championships.

At just 14, the Kawana Waters athlete is considered among the top four or five chances in the women's 800m freestyle.

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"We've just come down here to give it our best shot and we hope it all goes well," her coach Peter Gartrell said ahead of the meet, which starts on Friday.

"We're not making any predictions but we know that if they beat her they'll have to swim very hard to do so."

Fairweather, who will also contest the 400m freestyle in Adelaide, would need to finish among the top-two and beat the Olympic A-qualifier time to secure her spot at the Games.

She has already shown she can better the qualifying mark - in winning the final at last month's New South Wales Championships in 8 minutes 31 seconds.

"It's all going according to plan. We've worked hard during the past three or four months and now we've come down here, will have a little bit of rest and then it's time to belt your guts out and see how you go," Gartrell said.

Despite her relative inexperience, Fairweather boasts the fourth fastest entry time heading into the event.

But Gartrell was quick to dispel the hype surrounding the ratings.

"Remy will acquit herself well (but) you can't place too much importance on the entry times," he said.

"The Australian record-holder (Kylie Palmer) entered in ninth at 8.45 but that was the time she recorded three months ago," he said. "She's done some hard work since then and should be right in the mix."

Meanwhile, Katie Goldman is considered a near certainty to win the race.

"Kate has been swimming 8.24 consistently over the past six months and Kylie has already got an 8.22 to her credit so those two kids have a six or second break on a group of about four other swimmers - Remy is one of them," he said.

"Melissa Gorman, Jessica Ashford and Remy are all around 8.30 to 8.32, so they're the kids that are filling the spots behind them but if one or two of the good kids don't come up then one of those in that region might be able to sneak in instead.

"If Remy does a personal best and she gets second place then she's off to the Olympics, but that's a big ask."

Gartrell said Fairweather's rise to the national championships had been remarkable in itself.

"She is an Australian (age) record holder, beating Hayley Lewis's 400m and 800m time. Hayley has been a legend in Australian distance swimming, so it's been a very creditable performance from her so far," he said.

Gartrell's squad also includes Sunshine Coast's Commonwealth Games silver medallist and Olympics aspirant Samantha Hamill and 1500m contenders George O'Brien and Roy Pierce.

Hamill (pictured) is considered third in line for the 200m butterfly and the 400m individual medley.

"I've got four kids going to Olympic trials and we've worked our backsides off to be honest," Gartrell said. "I don't think anyone in Australia has trained harder than these four kids."



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