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Gaz's World Champs Diary #4

2022 FINA World Championships Diary by Gary Francis "Gaz" - Fourth Entry

Competition Ready

Hi All,

Thank you to everyone who has been sending the team their best wishes and good luck for the meet- the action begins tomorrow.

The training pools at the Duna Arena have quite a new look about them this week. Many familiar faces are missing, either due to covid or athletes choosing to skip the World Championships because of disrupted preparation and focus on Commonwealth Games, European Championships or both. The only constant is the American team – here in full force and one of the few teams to be like NZ and wear masks at all times.

Team Meeting

A short team meeting last night was an opportunity to go over the important details from the Team Leader’s Meeting that is relevant to the athletes. It also gave us the chance to remind the team how well they have done to get this far after the difficulties of the past year, but also not to waste the opportunity but instead to take the bull by the horns and really give it everything they have. Tomorrow sees five athletes straight up and for three of them it’s their main events; Helena in the 200IM in event 1, Erika and Eve in the 400 free and Lewis in the 400IM and Cameron in the 50m Butterfly. It’s been a bit of fast track journey for Camerion this year but he seems to be very calm and controlled about going from his first real strong performances at Senior National level to World Championships in only 3 months!

Coaching Team

The Coaching Team have really worked together well and we have a well organised plan for working with athletes who are not competing on certain days to allow each coach full focus on athletes who are racing. The athletes have also resourced good competition nutrition from local supermarkets which isn’t always easy in the middle of a big city. The hotel doesn’t have a gym and the Duna will not allow any athlete to access either of their two gyms which has been a major disappointment. However, I managed to find a very well equipped ‘boutique’ style gym 300m up the road from our hotel. They were happy for us to buy a 10 session ticket for 13,000 Hungarian Forints which is $54NZ. 5.40 a gym session is a pretty good rate for a high quality facility and they are happy for us to swap the user as much as possible. The gym is incredibly clean and has a strict sanitising and cleaning protocol which also makes it a great find.

Tomorrow it’s time to really start switching on and I’m sure that for everyone the moment we step into the Duna Arena the World Championship will seem very real. There are a lot of great sporting arenas around the world. I’ve been very lucky to visit many of them over the years and the Duna is right up there as one of those magical sporting theatres. Bring it on.

Before we get to the first event tomorrow we have another challenge to meet. Elliot Sneddon, our analyst, flies in at 10:55pm tonight. Tomorrow morning we need to get him through Covid screening, accreditation, get his equipment and camera set up and have him ready to film Helena at 6 minutes past 9! Wouldn’t be a problem except accreditation doesn’t open until 7:15am and he needs his screening certificate before he can be accredited!! No problem!

Day One Athlete Schedule

Helena Gasson

Womens 200m Individual Medley

18th June - 7pm NZT

Cameron Gray

Mens 50m Butterfly

18th June - 7:55pm NZT

Eve Thomas

Womens 400m Free

18th June - 8:11pm NZT

Erika Fairweather

Womens 400m Free

18th June - 8:11pm NZT

Lewis Clareburt

Mens 400m Individual Medley

18th June - 8:54pm NZT

How to Watch

You can watch all the action live via pay per view from FINA on Facebook Live. Or view live results for free on the official event website

Follow the Latest

Make sure you're following @swimming_nz on social media to keep to date with the latest athlete interviews, results and excitement from our Aquablacks team at the 2022 FINA World Swimming Championships.


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