Paris spots on the line: Locals head to Swimming Trials

Malik Amin and Sylas Phillips. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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With less than 50 days to go, Olympic Games fever is sweeping the world ahead of Paris 2024. But did you know that not all Olympic spots have been filled yet?

While our beloved Matildas found out this week exactly who was on the plane to Paris, Australia’s swim team is yet to be decided.

Vying for one of Australia’s last tickets to Paris are two young swimmers from the Nepean Aquatic Centre Swim Club.

18-year-old Sylas Phillips (right) and 17-year-old Malik Amin (left) will travel to Brisbane next week to compete at the 2024 Australian Swimming Trials, which will serve as the sole selection meet for the Dolphins Swimming Team to compete in Paris.

Phillips will line-up in the 200m backstroke, while Amin will compete in three events: the 100m Butterfly, 200m Butterfly and 200m Individual Medley.

While the pair will be up against the best swimmers in the country, they are excited at the opportunity to put themselves in the mix for a place at the Games.

“This will be top-level swimming. My aim is to go there, race hard, hopefully do a personal best time and try and be as fast as possible,” Phillips told the Weekender.

“I would say this is the biggest meet of my swimming career. My mindset in a race is not have very low expectations, but be confident and know my abilities,” Amin added.

Only two Aussie swimmers from each event will qualify for Paris. Swimmers will not only need to finish in the top two in the Final, but also be under the Olympic qualifying time.

Head coach at Nepean Aquatic Centre Swim Club, Sarah-Jane Weir, said she’s excited to see how her athletes perform on the national stage.

“I think it’s an exciting opportunity for them and a chance to experience that next step on their swimming journey,” she said.

“The Olympic Trials will also be really good for their development and an opportunity for them to experience that next level of pressure and be among other swimmers vying for spots on the Olympic team.”

The duo qualified for next week’s trials in the Sunshine State after outstanding results at the Australian Age Championships in April.

Phillips’ swimming journey has been unique to say the least. Born and raised in Coffs Harbour, he’s a country boy whose grown up by the beach loving surf lifesaving before relocating to western Sydney to be coached by Weir.

While Amin is a superfish in the pool – exceptionally talented across all four strokes – he’s not exactly a student of the sport.

“This might sound weird, but I don’t follow swimming that much,” he admitted.

“I only know the big names like Michael Phelps and Cody Simpson. But one thing I do know is next week I’ll be up against some big guys who are very fast and very challenging.”

If their Olympic dreams don’t come true in Brisbane, the boys will continue their development at a six-day ‘LA Dreaming Camp’ at the Australian Institute of Sport in July.

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