IN AT THE DEEP END: Brenden Hall is part of Australia's Paralympic swimming team.
IN AT THE DEEP END: Brenden Hall is part of Australia's Paralympic swimming team. Ian MacNicol

Swim team ready to make a splash in Rio

Wayne Lomas likes what he sees in Australia's Paralympic swimming team.

It's something worth noting, as Lomas is general manager of performance for the organisation.

"Our team has a great range of experience, both amongst the athletes and the coaches,” he said.

" We are excited to see more young people chase elite sporting success. This naturally fills us with excitement.”

At the Olympic Games, which finished last month, Lomas was leader of the swim team and managed the team on behalf of the Australian Olympic Committee.

However, at the Paralympics he will be more of an observer, an excited and well informed one none the less.

"My role at the Games will not be in an official team capacity, but will be a keen observer and able to help and support where and when required,” he said.

Adam Pine will hold the role Lomas did at the Olympics.

In terms of team expectations, Lomas played a straight bat and said the goal was "that each athlete competes at to their very best”.

"We strive for peak performance in all that we do,” he said.

Lomas said the preparation of our swimmers had been really good.

"They have had a really good preparation in Australia followed by a terrific orientation camp in Auburn, Alabama,” he said.

"Health, injury and team are all in great shape.”

With the Paralympics starting on September 9, Lomas said every athlete was in the final stages of their individual preparation, which varied from swimmer to swimmer.

"Swimmers and coaches have a comprehensive plan based on a number of factors, including the event they swim, and when they actually race, day one or day 10 of the swim meet,” he said.

Mental preparation was something spoken a lot about after the Olympics and this is also part of the Paralympic preparation.

"The team has a psychologist and each athlete works with a team of science and medicine experts to maximise their preparation,” Lomas said.

"Mentoring of the junior athletes by some of the experience team members is also of great assistance,” he added.

Personally, Lomas said he was excited to see the Games get under way.

"I was in the grandstands in London for the Paralympics and witnessed some incredible feats from our Aussie athletes,” Lomas said.

"I still vividly remember our gold medal winning 34 point women's freestyle relay in London, it was simply one of the most amazing relays I have ever watched and its that spirit that I love about the Paralympics.”

In terms of Rio de Janeiro and the Olympic Games, Lomas said it was a "wonderful experience”.

"The village was well designed, a melting pot of amazing athletes and individual stories, he said.

"It was certainly a tough campaign, but it's the Olympic Games.”

He said Rio itself was stunning.

"The miles and miles of amazing coastlines were brilliant,” Lomas said.

"One of my personal highlights was meeting Catherine Skinner (Olympic Gold Medal in women's trap shooting) two days before her event. It was great to meet such a remarkable and excited young Australian and them 48 hours later, to speak with her again and here about how amazingly her life had changed forever."


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