ACU student glides for gold

Australian Catholic University student Bethany Walsh will go for gold in Beijing next week in the Olympic synchronised swimming competition.

The Bayside Leader reports the 22 year old will be part of Australia's first synchronised swimming team to compete in an offshore Olympics, with only the top seven teams in the world, plus the host nation, eligible.

Australia debuted in Sydney in the team event, finishing eighth.

"I always was a swimmer," Walsh said.

"I did calisthenics for 10 years and then one day one of my friends took me along to try synchronised swimming."

She and her fellow teammates trained for nine hours a day two weeks leading up to Beijing, with seven hours in the water each day.

The team has been under the tuition of head coach Anna Nepotacheva for the past four years, and Marina Kohlod has been assistant coach for three.

2008 Synchronised Swimming section manager Irene Olevsky says on the Australian Olympic Committee website that Ms Nepotacheva is regarded as one of the best choreographers in the business, especially in her home country of Russia.

Walsh has taken a year off from her third year of university studies in exercise science at the Australian Catholic University to concentrate on preparing for her Olympic tilt.

SOURCE

Cheltenham swimmer gliding her way to China (Bayside Leader, 12/8/08)

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