In her second appearance at a World Aquatic Championships, up against the very cream of the crop, Glacier-Bear-come-Team-Canada swimmer Alexandra Gabor wasn’t her usual self.
At the short course championships held last week in Dubai, UAE, the 17-year-old was well behind her personal best times, finishing 34th in the 200-metre freestyle and 27th in 400-metre freestyle. She did, however, help her Canadian team take ninth in the women’s 4×200-metre freestyle relay.
“It wasn’t my best meet,” said Gabor. “I wasn’t as prepared as I was for the Worlds in Rome (last year). I just really need to get back in training and get focused again. I think right now I have a good shot of that because I have like four months until my next big meet.
“So if everything goes well and I train properly, I can do well in that one.”
Gabor competed for Team Canada at the World Aquatic Championships in Rome during the summer of 2009 – the long course championships – helping propel the Canadian team to an eighth-place finish in the women’s 4×200-metre relay. In the 200-metre freestyle in Rome, Gabor finished 20th in a field of 92.
Interestingly, last week Gabor did her worst in her best event, the 200-metre freestyle, swimming a 1:59.1, far off from her personal best of 1:54.97 that stands as a Canadian 15-17 age-group record.
“Sometimes there are stronger people in different events, sometimes there are more people in different events,” said Gabor. “There is more depth in certain events. There’s probably more depth in the 200 than the 400 free – there’s a lot of fast people in that event.”
Gabor’s next big meet will be the trials for the long-course world championships in March.
Looking farther ahead, last month Gabor announced she had signed a letter of intent to attend and swim for Stanford University in California next year on a full scholarship.
Adding one more in October at the Ryan Downing Memorial Swim Meet in Whitehorse, to date Gabor has set 72 club records (42 short course and 30 long). In addition, Gabor currently holds 21 BC records and five Canadian freestyle records in the 1,500-metre (girls 10-and-under), the 200-, 400- and 1,500-metre (girls 11/12) and the 200-metre (girls 15/17).
Last year, Gabor became the first Yukoner to win a gold medal at the Canada Summer Games, winning two golds and two bronzes in total.
“It was really nice – it was cool going to that part of the world,” said Gabor of Dubai. “Everywhere you go there are skyscrapers and they are so cool.
“I got to ride a camel, which was a once in a lifetime type of thing.”
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