Everything you need to know

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Channel Nine will broadcast all the action live, with Ian Thorpe, Giaan Rooney and Ariarne Titmus headlining a star-studded commentary team.

Mat Thompson, who called his first State of Origin match this year, is swapping rugby league for the swimming microphone this week. He’ll be looking to follow in the footsteps of Ray Warren, whose booming voice became synonymous with Australian swimming around the turn of the century.

Is there prizemoney?

Yes. Race winners will receive US$10,000 ($14,782). There are also decent financial incentives for second place (US$8000) and third place (US$7000). Even last place in a final makes $US2000.

Meanwhile, a world record is an automatic US$25,000 ($36,918) in the back pocket. That’ll be a big motivating factor.

“Oh wow, I didn’t know that,” said Canadian star Kylie Masse. “I don’t like to put too much emphasis on that … but of course the money is the cherry on top.”

However, there’s a catch. Given the event is on Australian shores, athletes who make over about $12,000 will have their winnings cut by the Australian Tax Office.

Which Australians are competing?

The Dolphins have picked a strong team of 36 swimmers, featuring eight Olympic gold medallists. They are Emma McKeon, Kaylee McKeown, Kyle Chalmers, Mack Horton, Mollie O’Callaghan, Madi Wilson, Chelsea Hodges and Meg Harris.

Emma McKeon has had a big 2022 already. Credit:Getty

Other notable names include Lani Pallister, Matt Temple and Flynn Southam. Cody Simpson, the former pop star who competed at this year’s Commonwealth Games, didn’t make the team.

Backstroker Isaac Cooper, who was sent home from a training camp before the Commonwealth Games due to misusing prescription medication, is also back in action. Australia sits second on the overall World Shortcourse medal tally, behind the USA.

“Kudos to our athletes after a massive year to come home and compete again,” said Swimming Australia chief executive Eugenie Buckley.

How many medals will Australia be hoping to win?

Australia won just two gold medals at the last shortcourse championships they competed in, four years ago in China.

That’s mostly because Australia’s top swimmers normally aren’t interested in shortcourse.

However, this one of the strongest Dolphins teams assembled, given the meeting is on home soil.

Michael Phelps competed in the 2007 World Swimming Championships in Melbourne.

Michael Phelps competed in the 2007 World Swimming Championships in Melbourne.Credit:AP

The Dolphins have topped the world shortcourse medal tally five times (1995, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2006).

Ultimately though, this meeting is very much about getting racing practice heading into next year’s longcourse World Championships in Japan and the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“As many medals as we can get is my answer,” said Australian head coach Rohan Taylor. “The formula I’m looking at is how many we have in that top five.

“There’s a little bit of an unknown. It’s always exciting and within the swimming community, shortcourse has high value.”

Romania’s David Popovici celebrates after winning the men’s 200m freestyle final at the European Swimming Championships.

Romania’s David Popovici celebrates after winning the men’s 200m freestyle final at the European Swimming Championships.Credit:AP

Who are the overseas stars?

The biggest is arguably David Popovici, who has taken the world by storm this year after breaking the 100m freestyle world record aged 17.


The Romanian will go head to head with Chalmers in the 100m on Thursday evening, but his Australian rival is the favourite given he is the shortcourse world record holder in the event.

Popovici should have enough in the tank to take out the 200m title, which he is world champion in for longcourse.

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, is ready to go, while Canadian duo Maggie Mac Neil and Kylie Masse are two to keep an eye out for.

However, a number of the USA’s big stars have opted to miss the meeting.

“We all know Australia is pretty much the top team in the world besides the Americans,” said Mac Neil, a three-time Olympic medallist. “It’s great to race them.”

Will anyone show up?

Ticket sales for the day sessions have been sluggish but Swimming Australia is confident evenings will draw strong crowds. The venue holds just over 4000 spectators.

“Being back on free-to-air, prime time … Channel Nine are throwing everything at this event. We’ve got the best athletes in the world,” Buckley said. “You’ll see some Australianisms out there. Athletes will be coming through Brighton Beach boxes at the medal ceremonies.”

World Swimming Championships on Channel 9 and 9Now from 7.30pm (AEDT), starting Tuesday.

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