YOUNG Caloundra swimming ace Tessa Wallace will shrug off a lingering problem with her left knee in her bid for a Commonwealth Games medal today.
The 17-year-old, who will compete in the women’s 200m breaststroke, is yet to fully recover from a meniscus tear suffered at the start of the year. She ignored the injury to snare third place at the Australian championships before having an operation in March.
It helped her secure passage to Delhi with an improved performance at the Pan-Pacific Championships in California in August.
Her father John says Wallace’s knee is improving steadily but it’s still proving troublesome for the talented teenager.
“She’s been undergoing rehab on it since the operation. It is still bothering her at the moment but it’s less bothering than before,” John said.
The second-youngest member of the swim team, Wallace is delighted to be at the Commonwealth Games.
“Not everyone gets to do it (compete at the Games), so she’s rapt,” John said.
“She sent me a text on Monday night and said she’s going well and is tapering well.”
Wallace will compete against the likes of fellow Australians Leisel Jones and Sarah Katsoulis.
“The world record holder (Annamay Pierse, of Canada) is in there as well so it’s a strong field,” John said before adding: “I believe she can make it into the final.”
Despite the presence of some high-quality swimmers, Wallace boasts the fifth-fastest time among the contenders and remains a medal chance.
“It all comes down to how bad she wants it,” John said.
“She’ll be in there fighting. There’s no two ways about that.”
Fellow Sunshine Coast swimmer Nick D’Arcy was sensationally bundled out of the Commonwealth Games on Monday.
Samantha Hamill starts her campaign on Saturday when she takes to the pool for the women’s 200m butterfly heats.
Other Sunshine Coast competitors at the Games include lawn bowlers Julie Keegan and Kelsey Cottrell and track and field athletes Alana Boyd and Chris Noffke.
She’ll be in there fighting. There’s no two ways about that.
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