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Swimming: Morning finals for Australian nationals ahead of Tokyo Olympics


SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's national championships in Adelaide next year will have heats in the evening and finals in the morning to help swimmers prepare for a similar schedule at the Tokyo Olympics, Swimming Australia (SA) said on Friday.

With competition shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, SA have put together a busy schedule to give swimmers as many opportunities as possible to race at home over the next 12 months.

An extended national short course championships will take place in Melbourne from Nov. 26-29, with the national long course championships starting on April 14 next year and the Olympic trials, also in Adelaide, taking place from June 12-17.

"With the prospect of international racing still up in the air leading into Tokyo, we've been working ... to make sure the complete domestic calendar provides plenty of strong, quality race practice for our athletes," SA's Alex Baumann said in a statement.

"The preparation our athletes will now experience due to the challenges they've all faced with COVID-19 will be vastly different to their original plans, so it was imperative that we provide them with the best possible platform to reboot...

"One of those measures was scheduling finals in the morning and heats at night during the (national championships) to replicate the programme our athletes will encounter at the Olympics."

The national open water championships, which will form part of the nomination process for Tokyo, will take place in late January at a venue yet to be announced.

The Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak, will take place from July 23-Aug. 8 next year.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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