Don’t ask respected coach Mel Tantrum to separate her three world championship-bound open water swimmers.
Tantrum has had the top Australian, New Zealand and Japanese open water swimmers under her tutelage for the past few months.
Perth’s Australian title holder Rhys Mainstone has been with Tantrum for two years, while Kiwi Kane Radford and Japan’s Yasunari Hirai recently made the move to Perth as part of a long-term build-up to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
A month out from the world championships, Tantrum says the trio are evenly matched and any one of the three could triumph in Barcelona, depending on the conditions.
A field of about 60 is expected in the 10km event.
“They are all world-class and they are all medal prospects. Ideally it would be one, two, three – gold, silver, bronze.”
Tantrum said it was not a conflict to have three rivals training alongside each other.
“They use each other for motivation,” she said. “There has definitely been a big improvement in consistency of performance.”
Mainstone, 23, agreed, saying it made him push himself harder.
“I am trying to beat them in every session,” he said.
Mainstone said he had been happy with his build-up to Barcelona and believed he was prepared for a good performance.