Flyer Deb­o­rah in bid for spot on team for Rio

Cockburn Gazette - - SPORT -

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.

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Syn­chro­nised swim­mer Deb­o­rah Tsai.

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