A Mixed Bag for Troy at the Nationals

Troy Tomkinson had a 5 days of ups and downs at the Tip Top Australian Age Championships last week with 2 disqualifications and a 5th place.

Troy was disqualified in both the 100m Freestyle (false start) on the opening day of the championships and the 100m Butterfly (incorrect finish) on the final day. Both disqualifications occurred in the heats of the events meaning that he missed out on a possible place in the finals.

Troy's third event at the championships, the 50m Freestyle, was a much different story. He qualified for the final in a time of 26.63 to be seeded as the fifth fastest. He then backed up his qualifying position to place fifth in the final in 26.24, only 1/100th of a second behind 4th place.

As a club, Merrylands finished 133rd overall with 20 points.

Troy's National results can be found here:
  • Troy Tomkinson
  • Merrylands at the Nationals

    Merrylands Amateur Swimming Club will have one of it's first representatives in nearly 20 years at this month's Tip Top Australian Age Championships in the form of Troy Tomkinson.

    Merrylands was last represented at the Australian Championships by Astrid Howton in 1983.

    Troy leaves for Melbourne next week to compete in three events at the Championships, the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle and the 100m Butterfly.

    The Championships will be help at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre from April 19 to April 23.

    You can keep up to date with Troy's progress at the Nationals at http://www.swimming.org.au/

    Successful Sprint Meet

    Merrylands had a very successful afternoon at the Cumberland District Sprint Meet on March 31st. The club was represented by 19 members and collected 15 medals.

    Jordan Burden successfully defended his title in the Boys 8yrs & Under 50m Breaststroke and placed second in the 50m Backstroke and 50m Butterfly.

    Thomas Wang left his first Sprint Meet with a Silver in the 9yrs & Under 50m Breaststroke and a Bronze in the 50m Freestyle.

    Mitchell Emery and Mitchell McFarlane placed well in the 10yrs events. Mitchell Emery made up for his disappointment at the Cumberland Championships with Silver in the 50m Breaststroke and Mitchell McFarlane took home his first Cumberland medal with Silver in the 50m Freestyle.

    After winning medals in the 100m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly at the District Championships Troy Tomkinson was ineligible to compete in the 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly. However Troy still took home a Gold in the 50m Backstroke and a Silver in the 50m Breaststroke.

    Peter Johnston and Robert Griffey represented the club in the 15yrs & Over events. Peter made up for a poor start in the 50m Breaststroke to beat Robert to the wall in 1 -2 for Merrylands. Robert improved on his Silver medal in the Breaststroke with dominant wins in both the Backstroke and Butterfly. With Robert ineligible to compete in the 50m Freestyle, Peter added a Silver medal to his Breaststroke Gold.

    Brittany Johnson was our lone female medallist with a Bronze in the 11yrs 50m Butterfly for her first Cumberland medal.

    The team had a very enjoyable afternoon and the meet is great way to end the summer season. A number of swimmers also broke their PBs. We hope to see even more club members there next year.

    Energy Drinks - Drug Test Warning

    The recent energy drink fad sweeping the country has Australian Swimming chiefs worried that unsuspecting athletes may test positive to high levels of caffeine at in-competition drug tests.

    As a result of their concerns, the sport's governing bodies are circulating pamphlets warning swimmers of the risks. They are also looking to increase swimmer's awareness of the risks through their drug education programs.

    The drinks, which are very high in caffeine, are claimed to significantly increase energy levels and vitalise mind and body. The drinks are highly promoted for the common market although not specifically for sport.

    Yesterday, NSW Swimming Executive Director, Peter Thomas said the association would be distributing circulars warning of the drug-testing dangers to athletes and would also be "increasing the profile of these types of caffeine consumption as part of the usual drug education program."
    "We do a lot of drug education, and it does address all aspects," Thomas said. "Something that we have considered recently is to include these sort of drinks and supplements as they are becoming more commonplace, and they are so readily available."
    "Because they are bought over the counter like soft drinks, athletes may not necessarily realise the caffeine content in them and it is, in certain doses, a prohibited substance."
    "They have got to be aware of it, and that if you consume enough of them, the level of caffeine could be such that it puts you into the prohibited range, and any athlete, regardless of whether they are high-profile or not, could be subject to testing."

    Individual coaches are also warning their swimmers to steer clear of the energy drinks.
    Caffeine is targeted by drug-testers during competition. As a stimulant drug, if it is taken in sufficient quantity it can produces a positive drug test, resulting in suspension from competition.
    A spokesman for the Australian Sports Drug Association said caffeine "was a game-day enhancer" designed to give athletes a "boost or pep-up". As a result, there was no out-of-competition testing.

    There are no hard and fast rules about how many energy drinks, cups of coffee or other products can be consumed as this depends on a number of factors, including body weight and metabolism. Athletes using these products may have high levels of caffeine and it's by-products and are likely to exceed the drug testing limits, which amounts to cheating.

    Swimmers are advised to avoid using caffeine during or around competition.