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'10,000 hours to just be competitive'

MAKING A SPLASH: Waterworx swimmers Jacinta Ticehurst, 14, Mollie O'Callaghan, 13, and Sophie O'Callaghan, 16 will go for gold at the State Swimming Championships.
MAKING A SPLASH: Waterworx swimmers Jacinta Ticehurst, 14, Mollie O'Callaghan, 13, and Sophie O'Callaghan, 16 will go for gold at the State Swimming Championships. David Nielsen

IT TAKES between 5000 and 10,000 hours to "just be competitive” in the pool according to Waterworx head coach Paul Sansby.

"It takes a long time to perfect a skill, and that doesn't mean you'll win just that you'll be competitive,” Sansby said.

"You'll be better than the average individual.”

But the swimming veteran based at Springfield has no doubt his small contingent of swimmers will be more than "just competitive” when the Queensland Swimming Championships begin at Brisbane Aquatic Centre tomorrow.

Headlined by national 100m backstroke champion Mollie O'Callaghan, Sansby's team of four female swimmers will bring quality over quantity to the Chandler pool.

"Mollie will shake the 13 years backstroke events, and all the other girls should (make their) final,” Sansby said.

"These guys have been in the water since June, and trained right through.

"The bulk of them are training anywhere from eight to 10 times a week. It's hard work.”

Waterworx Swim Club swimmers competing in the state championships from left, Jacinta Ticehurst, 14, Mollie O'Callaghan (front), 13, and Sophie O'Callaghan, 16,
Waterworx Swim Club swimmers competing in the state championships from left, Jacinta Ticehurst, 14, Mollie O'Callaghan (front), 13, and Sophie O'Callaghan, 16, David Nielsen

Mollie is expected to medal in the 100m and 200m backstroke events, and push for contention in the 100m, 200m, and 400m freestyle.

Her sister, 16-year-old Sophie O'Callaghan will hit the pool for multiple freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events.

Sansby has high hopes the duo of Jacinta Ticehurst (14) and Hazel Hogan (14) will push for medal contention in their butterfly and breaststroke races respectively.

"Hazel has been sick all this week, so it's a coin toss how she'll go,” the coach affectionately known as 'Cowboy' said.

"But I think most squads at the moment have the same problem, there's a lot of viral infections going around. It's hard to keep the kids healthy at the moment.”

Three more Waterworx swimmers were forced to pull out of the championships due to illness.

"They've missed three and four-week blocks, so there's not much point dragging them out to Chandler if they're not 100%,” Sansby said.

"These girls, they know when they go there it's like a job for anyone else.

"They've got to have fun, but they know how much work has been put in so there's an expectation too.”

Topics:  hazel hogan jacinta ticehurst mcdonald's queensland swimming championships mollie o'callaghan paul sansby waterworx swimming club

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