A bout of whooping cough in a female water polo competitor forced Swimming Australia officials to cancel a grand prix meet in Canberra this weekend. Picture: Gregg Porteous
THE Australian swim team has been dealt a savage blow on the eve of the London Olympics with a grand prix meet in Canberra scheduled for this weekend cancelled.
It is understood a bout of whooping cough in a Chinese female water polo competitor at the AIS forced Swimming Australia officials to cancel the event - the last scheduled meet for Australia's swimmers before heading to London.
Sources have told The Daily Telegraph the water polo competitor arrived from China with the highly-contagious ailment, and other teammates were starting to show similar symptoms.
Swimming Australia cancelled the meet immediately after receiving medical advice to do so, with Head Coach Leigh Nugent saying the decision was purely precautionary.
"We have spoken with the AIS and, whilst we are comfortable with the procedures they have put in place, we have decided to take this precaution," Nugent said.
"Originally we'd planned to have this camp as an opportunity to come together for some further relay preparation and the chance for some of the athletes to race and time trial a month or so out from the Games."From a relay perspective we are confident we're on track with our preparations and will fine tune things when we get to Manchester in July. As for the racing side of things, I'm sure the individual coaches will arrange time trials if they see fit to replicate that preparation."
The decision to cancel the event means members of the Australian swim team will now stay in their home states to continue their preparations for London, with the first group of athletes heading to Europe early next week.
The team will next assemble for a staging camp in Manchester from July 14, before heading to London on July 22.
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