Magnetic Island swim to sharpen Lewandowski for Coolangatta

by ANTONY STEWART

Despite it being less than three weeks away, Michael Lewandowski concedes he is hardly even thinking about the Subway Magnetic Island to Townsville Swim. But that is not to say he isn't desperate to win it on July 18. The gifted swimmer will be the raging hot favourite to claim the iconic event, stamping his class with a dominant effort at the Salt 66 Strand 5km swim last month. Lewandowski has been hitting the pool three times a week in preparation for the gruelling 8km race which is expected to attract record numbers in both solo and relay events. On top of that the 22 year old has also been working overtime in ski board and running disciplines as his debut in October's Coolangatta Gold draws ever closer. The Gold will be Lewandowski's maiden ironman and first surf event since he was 17 after returning from the college swimming sholarship in the United States early last year. It consists of a 23km ski paddle, a 3.5km swim, a 4km run followed by a 5km board before finishing with a 10km run. Lewandowski represented NSW and Australia at junior levels in pool swimming, but admitted the other events particularly the ski were out of his comfort zone. "I know I can hold my own against all those big boys in the swim, run and board, it's just hte ski that is my concern", he said. With that in mind, Lewandowski's goals are modest first time around, aiming for a top 20 finish among a field that is expected to range from 80 to 100 competitors. But the life guard said it could be the prestigious Townsville event that gives him the edge. "I want to win the Maggie Island Swim. Swimming has always been my strength, so to win would make sure I'm looking good for the Coolangatta Gold," Lewandowski said. The 55th Magnetic Island to Townsvill  Swim starts at Picnic Bay and finishes at the Strand.

Copied from The Townsville Bulletin, Saturday 4th July, 2009.