Flyer Deborah in bid for spot on team for Rio
DITCHING ballet and gymnastics in favour of the pool, Claremontbased West Coast Splash member Deborah Tsai is ready to splash into the 2016 Rio Olympics as she attempts to earn a spot on the team.
Tsai (21) takes the position of flyer in the Australian Synchronised Swimming Squad, a role that has her on top of team lifts and throws.
The UWA graduate said she en- joyed the high pressure position.
“I was a national level gymnast in Singapore, where I was born, and also had a background in ballet but was an absolutely terrible swimmer when I started synchro in Perth at age 13,” she said.
“I was one of the founding members of West Coast Splash at its inception in 2009.
“I started the sport relatively late but I was drawn to it because it’s something that’s a little bit different to everything else. It is a melting pot of skills.”
While Tsai was part of the shadow squad for the London 2012 Olympics, this year will be her first crack at the competing team.
After studying business law and finance at UWA, Tsai was awarded a $3000 scholarship last year.
She said the university had been supportive of her 30-hour-a-week sport schedule. Tsai will compete at the National Synchronised Swimming Championships at HBF Stadium from April 11-12 where Australian teams will compete against swimmers from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.
West Coast Splash members Zooe Hewson, Jessica Eidne, Michelle Ammon, Gabbi Percic and Emma Levett will also compete at the Nationals.
Synchronised swimmer Deborah Tsai.