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Qualifying for an Australian swim team at 18 is the dream that Alexander Graham is contemplating turning down.
The talented Melbourne teenager celebrated his 18th birthday on Sunday night with a fifth place finish in the 200m freestyle final in 1:47.23, fast enough to secure a position on his first senior national team.
But Graham may yet do the unthinkable and reject the trip to Barcelona. Graham is still eligible for age group racing and with his coach Gene Jackson they are contemplating skipping the July world titles to instead compete at the junior world championships in August.
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The team selection criteria does not allow a swimmer to compete in both, so while Graham’s instinct is to compete in Barcelona, he would be willing to sacrifice the experience for the juniors, where he would have a much larger program, if that was the best course for his development.
“We’re weighing it up because [we’re] seeing what will be better for my development, going to juniors or going to seniors and getting the experience,” Graham said.
“… I’m kind of leaning towards going to Barcelona, just because I think it will be good to get the experience in the senior team and racing those open guys.”