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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3243


Dr SOUTHCOTT (Boothby) (13:45): Since 1900 swimming has been Australia's most successful sport at the Olympic Games. Few countries around the world would stop for a swimming race the way Australia stopped to watch Kieren Perkins, Susie O'Neill, Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett's races in recent times. The latest crop of Olympic hopefuls have been competing at the Olympic trials this week at the South Australian Aquatic Centre. I would like to thank the Chief Executive Officer of Swimming Australia, Kevin Neil, and the board for making the decision to hold the Olympic trials in Adelaide. I had the pleasure of attending the swimming meet on Friday and Saturday this past weekend to watch some of the great racing and results.

At 26, Leisel Jones has made history as the first Australian swimmer to qualify for four Olympic Games. Nick D'Arcy qualified with the fastest time this year for the 200-metres butterfly. Kylie Palmer set an Australian record in the women's 400-metres freestyle, and Stephanie Rice has earned the right to defend her Olympic titles in London. It was great to see Emily Seebohm, daughter of Glenelg Football Club great John Seebohm, win the 100-metres backstroke. The world's fastest man over 100 metres, James Magnussen, will swim tonight. And although the fairy tales did not work out for Ian Thorpe and Michael Klim, all Australians will take great inspiration from the story and comeback of Geoff Huegill.

The strength of the performances augurs well for all our relay teams. I would like to congratulate those successful swimmers who have qualified for the Australian Olympic team. As they are aware, they are ambassadors for Australia and are strong role models for our community, especially our children. Good luck to all those swimmers who are yet to compete over the next four days.