Shayna Jack
The in-form Shayna Jack will lead the Dolphins' charge at the world championships in Doha. Image by James Ross/AAP PHOTOS
  • swimming

Shayna Jack to spearhead Dolphins’ world campaign

Murray Wenzel December 15, 2023

An in-form Shayna Jack will shoulder the Dolphins’ load at the world championships in Doha with many of Australia’s Tokyo Olympic stars skipping the event.

The sprinter was in good form at this week’s Queensland championships, winning both the 50m and 100m freestyle ahead of Meg Harris and Cate Campbell.

Jack, 50m freestyle world champion Cameron McEvoy and 2022 400m champ Elija Winnington are the headliners named in Australia’s 24-strong squad to compete at Qatar’s World Aquatics Championships from February 2-18.

But the tight turnaround to the Paris Olympics, beginning in late July, means most of the country’s Games stars won’t join them.

Emma McKeon is currently managing a torn muscle under her armpit, while Ariarne Titmus returned to the pool in Brisbane this week for the first time since revealing in September she had benign tumours removed from an ovary.

They will miss the trip ahead of June’s Olympic trials, as will Mollie O’Callaghan, Kyle Chalmers, Sam Short, Matt Temple, Kaylee McKeown and Zac Stubblety-Cook.

Backstrokers Iona Anderson and Jaclyn Barclay will make their international debuts, as will open water swimmer Robert Thorpe.

Maddy Gough and Moesha Johnson will contest the women’s open water 10km event before backing up to swim 1500m in the pool.

Chelsea Gubecka (5km) has already qualified for Paris and will compete at a record seven world championships.

McEvoy confirmed earlier this week he would defend his title and is excited by the prospect of facing in-form Brit Ben Proud in a tasty precursor to Paris.

At 29, the three-time Olympian became the oldest Australian to win an individual world championship gold medal in Japan earlier this year.

“It’s going to be pretty rough, Ben’s going to be on, but it’ll be a really good pre-Paris experience,” the rejuvenated McEvoy said. 

“Fukuoka was my first international 50m final, so to have another one of them and have been in top form is a good experience.”

DOLPHINS WORLD CHAMPS SQUAD:  Iona Anderson, Jaclyn Barclay, Jack Cartwright, Abbey Connor, Isaac Cooper, Jenna Forrester, Madeleine Gough, Abbey Harkin, Shayna Jack, Moesha Johnson, Cameron McEvoy, Kiah Melverton, Alexandria Perkins,  Kai Taylor, Brianna Throssell, Samuel Williamson, Elijah Winnington, Bradley Woodward, Bianca Crisp, Chelsea Gubecka, Bailey Armstrong, Kyle Lee, Nicholas Sloman, Robert Thorpe.