Bondies go for Gold at Glasgow

23 July 2014

Bondies will have extra reason to tune into this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as two of their own—Melanie Schlanger and Alex Beck—will be proudly representing Australia.
MBA student and Olympic champion, Melanie Schlanger, will be competing in the 50m freestyle and the 100m and 200m freestyle relay events, while recent Exercise and Sports Science graduate and national track champion Alex Beck, will be competing in the men’s 400m relay.

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As you can imagine, preparation for these Games has been intense. Bond University managed to catch-up with Mel before she headed to Scotland to find out about her training, how she manages to balance her studies with being a world-class athlete, and how she thinks the Aussies will fare in the pool…
So what’s your training been like in the lead-up to the Games?
“For the last 12 weeks we’ve been in intensive training mode, though in the final three before we compete, we drop back on our mileage and intensity. This ensures we’re fresh, feeling good, and getting ready to race as fast as we can come competition.”
How are you feeling about competing in these Games?
“I’m really looking forward to Glasgow – I’ve been on and off the national team since 2006, so this will be my first Commonwealth Games.
“Since the London Olympics it’s been quite difficult for me with injuries, but this preparation I’ve trained and performed 100%. I’ve been able to complete everything and improve quite significantly, so I just can’t wait to be part of it and to see what rewards will come in from all the hard work.
“Most of all I’m looking forward to standing on the blocks and getting ready to race.”
How do you balance your swimming with study?
“It can be difficult to balance everything. At this stage of my life, swimming for me is number one, and I do whatever I can to perform 100%. Around this I’ve established a routine that allows me to study as well.
“I’ve been steadily working away at my MBA which is going well and I’m really enjoying it. I spend so much time in the water and focusing on training and the high-performance aspect, that breaking away and switching my mind to academic mode is actually quite rewarding and a great distraction that actually helps my performance in the pool.
“For me, swimming and study balance each other quite well. It’s the social life tends that tends to suffer the most, but that’s something I’m willing to do.
“Some people say it is a sacrifice but at the end of the day I get to study and I get to go overseas and compete for my country at the Commonwealth Games. I wouldn’t call it a sacrifice; I’m enjoying every moment of it.”
How do you think the Aussies will fare in the pool these Games?
“We should go pretty well. The other countries aren’t quite as competitive on the world stage as the Australian team, so we usually tend to dominate the medals in the pool.
“Having said that, it’s going to be very competitive and we’ll be going up against world champions who will be competing for their own countries. Nothing is guaranteed at this level of competition.
“From here, it’s up to each individual swimmer to do their job, which is to swim as fast as they can. The results will come from that.”
The 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games officially kicks off in Glasgow, Scotland today, July  23 (the morning of July 24 in Australia).
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