Alexandra Gabor just bronzed Berlin.
On Saturday at a FINA World Cup meet in Berlin, Germany, while swimming for Team Canada, Gabor won bronze in the 200-metre freestyle, just four days after winning a bronze in the same event at a World Cup in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday.
Gabor narrowly advanced to the finals of the 200 free in Berlin, qualifying with an eighth-place spot.
But competition was fierce.
To give an idea of just how fierce, between the two meets – in a total of four days of racing – 25 world records were broken.
“I think the amazing level of competition stands out most for me from that meet,” wrote Gabor in an e-mail to the News, sent between the two circuit meets.
“It was a very, very fast field to compete against, and it really did raise my game – and by quite a few levels! It helps me, and I’m sure a lot of other swimmers on the team realize that you need to be on your A-game right from the very get-go, and there’s no room for complacency in the preliminaries because there’s always someone else that’s willing to push a little bit harder and maybe that complacency will cost you a spot in the finals.”
In the race, Gabor not only set a BC Senior/Open record with her time of one minute, 54.97 seconds, she set a Canadian record for the girls 15-17 age group.
Gabor has now broken 13 Canadian records and 66 BC Swim records (that include Yukon swimmers) in her career.
“In the finals, as usual, she started slow but steadily gained ground and, with a strong finish, succeeded in winning the bronze medal,” wrote Gabor’s father and Glacier Bears record keeper, Gustav Gabor, in an e-mail to the News.
Showing a buildup in momentum, 36 of her BC records have been set since just March of this year. Between just the two World Cups, Gabor set two Canadian and eight BC records.
In her other events in Berlin, Gabor placed 25th in the 100 free and 13th in the 400 free. Her Team Canada coach in Berlin, Tom Johnson, decided to withdraw Gabor from the 400 free in order to have her rest up for her stronger races.
“A wise move,” wrote Gustav.
In Stockholm, the Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club member also finished 30th in the 50 free on Tuesday, and then 16th in the 100 free and 13th in the 400 free on Wednesday.
“I feel really good about my results, three out of four personal best times in Stockholm and a bronze in the 200 free is a really great start to the circuit and I just hope that I can keep it up for this meet in Berlin and improve on it,” she wrote.
“As far as the 400 free, I am pretty disappointed in it, but there are a lot of things I can improve on and fix in time for this meet to make it a lot better.”
Making her results all the more remarkable, according to her father, Gabor is still recovering from a torn tendon in her quadriceps, serious hindering her preparations for the meets.
“(She hasn’t) been able to do any strenuous kicking in the water, nor dryland work until about two weeks ago,” wrote Gustav. “Alex had to let the injury heal slowly, and without any excess strain on the tear.
“As a result, her kicking wasn’t in very good shape for these races, which, at least to me, makes her achievements in Europe that much more impressive.”
Up next, Gabor and Glacier Bears teammate Bronwyn Pasloski will be competing at the Canada Cup in Toronto at the end of the month.
While competing at the Canada Summer Games in August, Gabor won four medals including gold in the 200 and 400 free. Before August, the Yukon had only ever won two medals at the Summer Games, both in cycling.
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