Local swimmer vying for Olympic selection

June 13, 2024 BY

Melbourne Swimming Club Geelong branch swimmer Madison Cooper has been competing at the Australian Olympic trials since the start of the week. Photo: SUPPLIED

GEELONG swimmer Madison Cooper is shooting her shot at Olympic qualification, as she takes on the Australian Olympic trials this week.

The trials event begun at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre earlier this week on June 10 and will conclude Saturday.

Cooper has been competing alongside the nation’s best athletes since Monday, getting to the trials event after missing out four years ago.

Cooper said the COVID lockdown restrictions hindered her chance to compete at the 2021 Tokyo trials, given she was unable to leave Victoria at the time.

The 20-year-old swimmer, who trains with Melbourne Swimming Club’s Geelong branch (MSC Geelong), attributes her success to the club’s training program and culture.

“I’m fortunate to have great teammates and MSC provide elite level coaching and continuous athlete and parent support,” Cooper said.

“Once COVID restrictions lifted I was back in the water. I’ve been competing since I was eight years old, and

swimming provides an excellent foundation of commitment and dedication which has helped me navigate my journey as an open national swimmer.”

Cooper is listed for five events at the trials, but her focus remains on the 200m backstroke, 800m freestyle and 400m individual medley.

Trained by senior coach Lucky Weerakkody, Cooper was also part of the club’s success at the recent Australian Age and Open Championships on the Gold Coast.

“The club has achieved great results in a short period of time and I’m looking forward to building upon those foundations,” Cooper said.

Weerakkody boasts more than 30 years of experience in his role, including serving as Australian Paralympic team coach at the 2005 and 2006 Aquatic World Championships.

MSC also partners with industry leaders and their landmark partnership with Pacific Team Sports enables all swimmers, coaches and supporters of the club to wear new NIKE branded team apparel.