Burpengary duo off to world titles

Published 3:00pm 11 March 2022

Burpengary duo off to world titles
Words by Nick Crockford

Narangba swimmer Piper Sanderson will make her international debut later this year 10,000km away in the Indian Ocean.

The 18-year-old has been named in the Australian Dolphins squad for the World Junior Open Water Championships in Seychelles on September 1-4.

Bailey Armstrong, a Belgravia team-mate at Burpengary Regional Aquatic Centre, is Dolphins' senior squad for the FINA World Championships in Hungary from June 18.

Belgravia Head Coach Harley Connolly will travel to both world titles as part of the Australia Dolphins' coaching set-up.

Sanderson will be in the 10km race as the Australian 18-19 Years champion after taking the national title in January on the waters off Adelaide.

Burpengary duo off to world titles
Piper Sanderson with her Australian Open Water Championship gold medal at Brighton Beach, Adelaide in January.

'Bright future'

She clocked in 2 hours 5 minutes 27.68 seconds at Brighton Beach – winning by a fraction over five minutes.

Armstrong will be in the 10km after finishing second in that event at the national titles in 1:50:5.95.

“Piper has come a long way since we started and has really improved in the last couple of cycles,” coach Connolly said. “If she continues there’s a bright future ahead.”

In the Seychelles, Connolly said Sanderson’s focus should be on the “little things” and not to “worry about the result”.

Armstrong made his Dolphins debut three years ago finishing seventh in the 2019 World Championships 5km in South Korea.

Burpengary duo off to world titles
Bailey Armstrong with his 10km silver medal at the national open water titles.

Exciting times

In the same year, he was also fifth in the men's 10km at the FINA Marathon Swim Series in the Seychelles.

The 23 year old's selection was more expected, with Connolly saying he "has been putting in good work".

Swimming Australia Open Water Program Manager Greg Shaw said of the junior squad: “I am excited to see what this group is capable of delivering.

“The chance to travel to Seychelles and race other international competitors is a key development opportunity on their path to the Los Angeles and Brisbane Olympics.”

Tamara Sheppard, Swimming Australia's High Performance Director,  said: "There were strong swims at the nationals and we anticipate that standard will continue to rise in training and in Hungary."

Burpengary duo off to world titles
Belgravia team head coach Harley Connolly at training in Burpengary


2022 Australian World Junior Open Water Championships team

Finella Gibbs-Beal – Noosa (Queensland)

Piper Sanderson – Belgravia (Queensland)

Abbey Connor – Revesby Workers (New South Wales)

Jasmine Rawyward – TSS Aquatics (Queensland)

Robert Thorpe – St Peters Western (Queensland)

Caleb Dryer – Trinity Grammar (New South Wales)

Kai Robertson – Revesby Workers (New South Wales)

Clancy Luscombe – Marion (South Australia)

Harley Connolly – Belgravia (Queensland)

Maxine Seear – St Peters Western (Queensland)

Alex Clarke – Revesby Workers (New South Wales)

Australian Dolphins Open Water 2022 FINA World Championships team
Moesha Johnston – Griffith University (Queensland)
Chelsea Gubecka – Yeronga Park (Queensland)
Finella Gibbs-Beale – Noosa (Queensland)
Nicholas Sloman – Noosa (Queensland)
Bailey Armstrong – Belgravia (Queensland)
Kyle Lee – North Coast (Western Australia)
Mel Tantrum - Swimming Australia State Technical Lead (Western Australia)
Janelle Pallister – Griffith University (Queensland)
Harley Connolly – Belgravia (Queensland)
Robert Van der Zant – Yeronga Park (Queensland)
John Rodgers – Noosa (Queensland)

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