Barry Kime knew he had something special when Chelsea Gubecka joined his Sunshine Coast swim squad just after her eighth birthday.
Gubecka, who is now 14, is set to become the youngest member of the Australian swim team at this year’s world championships after, in her first senior national titles, she won the 1500 metres freestyle final on Sunday night by almost 30 seconds.
Kime said it had been easy to spot the potential of Gubecka, who had started learn-to-swim classes at five months old.
“I got her in and said ‘wow look at this kid, what a rocket’ and within 12 months [she] was on the Queensland swim team for schools,” Kime said.
“Right from day one, her ability to listen and to adapt [had been strong] and she’s always willing to try her best all the time. Some kids at a young age can’t concentrate for more than five seconds but she’s one of those kids where every word you said she’d just lock onto it and adapt to whatever changes you want to make.”