44 hours of hell for chance at Birmingham glory

July 7, 2022

Bond University swimmers bound for the Commonwealth Games are still on a high after receiving their tickets, however their travel itinerary will soon bring them back down to earth.

Bull Sharks head swimming coach Chris Mooney has revealed his three squad swimmers - Ben Armbruster, Minna Atherton and Flynn Southam - face a mammoth international commute when they leave tomorrow.

“It gives me brain pain just thinking about it,” said Mooney.

“Full international travel isn’t in full swing yet, so certain routes aren’t there at the moment. It’s 44 hours door to door between the Gold Coast and Chartres in France, where their staging camp is.

“We have a rule that for every five hours you’re in the air, you probably need to allow yourself a day to feel normal again on the other side.”

There is a silver lining: Chartres is also where swimmers will be based before the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“It’s a really good rehearsal for them. They’ll be in Europe at that time of year, they’ll get to experience the weather, the food, the cultures, so when they hopefully arrive before the Olympics in 2024 it will feel familiar,” Mooney said.

“And they’ll also be exposed to all those little travel hidden horrors that await them in the next 44 hours.”

Bond University students Elijah Winnington and Jenna Strauch are currently preparing in Spain following their medal-winning performances at World Championships in Hungary.

Mooney is not accompanying his troops, instead he is conserving his coaching prowess on the international stage for the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Hawaii in mid-August.

Four junior Bond swimmers are in the squad: Flynn Southam, Jesse Coleman, Joshua Collett and Milla Jansen.