Chelsea tipped to beat veterans in Australian ocean swim

Chelsea Gubecka expected to dominate at national age titles.
Chelsea Gubecka expected to dominate at national age titles. john mccutcheon

WARNING to Chelsea Gubecka's rivals: offer her advice at your own risk.

The ridiculously talented teen utilised advice received from former 5km world champion Melissa Gorman to beat the veteran long-distance star and capture her first Australian 10km open-water title in February.

The upset win has earned the 14-year-old a debut spot on an Australian senior team, which will compete at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona in July-August.

Gubecka will aim to add more events to her Barcelona schedule when she competes in her first national championships in Adelaide this month.

The event will serve as a selection trial for the worlds, and a platform from which one of the country's most promising young swimmers can gauge her standing in the open ranks.

But before that happens, she will compete in the national age championships in Adelaide, starting Monday, where she is expected to dominate.

Obviously, the Kawana Waters State College Year 10 student's main focus is the senior nationals, where she will compete in the 800m and 1500m freestyle and the 400m individual medley.

And if Gubecka feels the pressure biting too hard at the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre, she may recall Gorman's seminal advice.

When the pair competed in the second of three open-water qualifying events for the worlds, in Perth in January, Gubecka had a horror race after missing a can.

"I hopped out and was very upset with myself," she said.

"She (Gorman) came up to me at the end of it and gave me a hug and said: 'It's okay. These mistakes happen. I've done it myself plenty of times … look forward to the next one.'"

Coming from her idol and friend, the words were invaluable, and less than a month later Gubecka beat 27-year-old Gorman in a sprint finish at the nationals.

They will both represent Australia in the 10km in Barcelona.

Topics:  chelsea gubecka swimming

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