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On the plane to Paris

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On the plane to Paris

A decade of hard work pays off for open water swimmer, who fulfils his dream to qualify for the Olympics. WORDS: Caitlin Zerafa.

A Sunshine Coast open water swimmer has earnt himself a seat on the Australian Olympic team after qualifying for Paris 2024.

Nicholas Sloman finished fifth at the World Aquatics World Championships in Doha earlier this month, mere milliseconds off third place.

Needing to place in the top 10 to qualify for the Games, the 26-year-old finished in the best shape of his career, recording a time of 1hr:48:29.60 for the gruelling 10km race.

The Olympic debutante joins former Kawana swimmer and Rio Olympian Chelsea Gubecka, who qualified for Paris last year at the World Aquatics Championships with her second place finish in the women’s 10km event.

Part of the Noosa Swimming Club, Sloman narrowly missed qualifying for Tokyo in 2020, using this determination to fuel his Paris dream.

He says while at times the dream has felt “out of reach”, he is proud to see more than a decade of hard work and training pay off.

“It’s been a dream of mine that has kind of felt a little out of reach. So, to finally qualify has been a massive relief,” Sloman says.

“My focus at the moment is to have a great result at the Games. So, I haven’t really taken the time to let it sink in. But for now, the result at Doha has given me a lot of confidence to do so.

“It has been a really long journey – almost 11 years, which is kind of crazy to think about.

“It just goes to show that if you have a goal you want to work for, it will come.”

Sloman was also part of the gold medal-winning Australian mixed 4x1500m relay team at the meet.

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