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Kazan 2015 : Madeline Groves aiming high

by ZwemZa on July 30th, 2015

Butterflyer Madeline Groves wants to be taken seriously as a world titles contender and not accept “allowances” as a way out of delivering peak performances.

Groves is one of the emerging young stars of the Australian swim team, a 100-200m butterflyer with potential to stand on the podium at the world titles in Kazan starting on Sunday and at the Rio Olympics next year.

The Australian team last night arrived in Kazan on a chartered flight from their staging camp in Doha, ready to take the world on and show how much promise is in this Dolphins swim team.

Groves is among their future heroes but for the 20-year-old to live up to her potential as the second fastest woman in the 200m ‘fly this year she must stand and deliver on the big stage, something she admits she didn’t do for Australia last year.

Madeline Groves in action. Picture: Brett Costello

Madeline Groves in action. Picture: Brett Costello

Groves was a rookie when she won bronze in the 200m fly at Glasgow, but her time was almost two seconds off her best which would’ve won her gold.

At the Pan Pacs on the Gold Coast a few weeks later she was two seconds slower again in seventh and later revealed she’d carried a serious shoulder problem leading into both events.

But this year she has no excuses and while this is her first time racing a full international field at a world titles Groves is ready to make her mark.

“You obviously want to have high goals and expectations of yourself but you need to be realistic as well,” Groves said.

“I would love to get on the podium, I certainly think I have the potential to. If not this year certainly in the future, it is certainly my goal long term.

“I don’t want to be giving myself allowances every year as well. No-one cares if it’s your first year or how young you are, or if you’ve had a shoulder problem or whatever, they won’t put you in the final because of that.


Madeleine Groves St Peter's College in Indooroopilly. Picture: Jack Tran

Madeleine Groves St Peter’s College in Indooroopilly. Picture: Jack Tran

“I don’t want to be sitting back every year saying it was about experience, I want to be up there and very competitive and taken seriously as well.”

Importantly for Groves her shoulder problems are a thing of the past. Eventually her and coach Michael Bohl found the source of her problem in being referred pain from an issue with her teeth and dental work has alleviated the pain.

She has since changed up her entire gym program, focusing more on specific swimming strength work and more body weight movements, which has also strengthened her shoulders.

With her body sorted Groves is also confident her head is in the right space to race the best in the world. If last year’s disappointments taught her anything it was how to handle setbacks as a team member, not as an individual.

“It was good to deal with a disappointment,” she said. “I already have that experience of knowing how to feel and how to interact with people afterwards if you do have a disappointing swim.

“It is disappointing for yourself but you don’t want to be the sad sack moping around, you want to be up and encouraging your teammates and cheering people on.

“It was good to learn that lesson quickly.”


Australian open water swimmer Chelsea Gubecka with teammates Simon Huitenga (left) and Rh

Australian open water swimmer Chelsea Gubecka with teammates Simon Huitenga (left) and Rhys Mainstone. Picture: Regi Varghese


Australian open water swimmer Kareena Lee has been released from hospital after collapsing following her gutsy 10km world titles effort in Russia on Tuesday.

Teammate Chelsea Gubecka, 16, narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish in Kazan that would have earned Rio Olympic qualification. However, Gubecka’s frustrating 13th was overshadowed by Lee’s post-match drama.

Lee – an asthmatic – complained of shortness of breath before collapsing after finishing 20th.

Australian open water head coach Ron McKeon said Lee was taken to hospital for observation.

“She was doing an interview when she gasped for breath and complained that she was having trouble breathing,” a Swimming Australia statement said.


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