Shane Gould and Murray Rose, two of the biggest legends of swimming history, will swim at the fifth Fiji Swims Championships next week.
Gould, who held every freestyle world record from 100m to 1,500m simultaneously, is the only woman to have ever won five solo medals at one Olympic Games in the pool, her 1972 haul including three golds. Rose won three gold medals at a home Games in Melbourne in 1956 and backed up with victory in the 400m four years later in Rome.
Alongside the Aussie legends are former world s/c medley world champion and record holder and a woman deprived of the biggest of honours by the China crisis of the 1990s, Allison Wagner (USA), and Neil Rogers, the captain of the Australian swimming team at the 1976 Games in Montreal and a man returning to the Fiji fray for a third time.
The Olympic pool is a far cry from the Fiji Swims, which start with an 18-kilometre relay on July 24. Fiji Swims race director David Handley told the Fiji Times that this year's event would feature a record number of teams. 'This year we have a 11 teams of five swimmers already confirmed for the 18km relay,' said Handley.
Handley said he was expecting more than 150 swimmers to participate in 2.7km and 1km races, which will be held in waters around Beachcomber and Treasure Islands.