Australian Swim Team Shrinks for Doha World Championships Ahead of Paris Olympics


Australia’s swim team for the upcoming world championships in Doha is expected to be smaller compared to this year’s record-breaking team. The head coach anticipates a team of less than 20 swimmers, with key athletes prioritizing the Paris Olympics.

Anticipation of Smaller Team

The Australian swim team for the world championships in Doha is anticipated to be significantly smaller than this year’s record-breaking team. Rohan Taylor, the head coach of Swimming Australia, expects the Dolphins team to consist of fewer than 20 swimmers in the event scheduled for next February.

Key Athletes’ Decision

Ariarne Titmus, the women’s world 400 metres freestyle champion, will not participate in the Doha edition in order to focus on the Paris Olympics set to begin in late July. Taylor also anticipates other swimmers choosing to skip the Doha championships in favor of preparing for the Olympics, with the team selection slated for mid-December.

Impact of COVID-19 and Scheduling

The Doha world championships were initially planned for this month but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also led to the rescheduling of the Fukuoka edition. The proximity of the Doha meet to the Olympics is expected to result in many of the world’s top swimmers opting out of the event.

Taylor’s Perspective

Taylor acknowledged the challenging schedule, given the crowded Australian swim calendar next year, which includes national titles in April, Olympic selection trials in June, and the Paris Games. While he emphasized the potential value of international exposure, Taylor expressed concerns about the diminishing significance of the world championships due to the absence of many top swimmers.

Recognition for Taylor

Rohan Taylor was recently honored as the Australian Institute of Sport’s coach of the year, attributing the recognition to his leadership team, coaches, and athletes. He expressed gratitude for the award and viewed it as motivation to continue excelling in his role.