Tessa Wallace is bound for the Commonwealth Games
Tessa Wallace is bound for the Commonwealth Games John McCutcheon

Wallace packs plenty of experience

SWIMMING: Despite only being 24 years old, Tessa Wallace will head to the Commonwealth Games this week as one of the swimming team's veteran athletes.

It's a remarkable feat for the Pelican Waters swimmer, with the international meet on the Gold Coast set to be her third appearance at that level.

She's even got an Olympic Games notch to her representative belt after competing at London in 2012.

"This is my third Commonwealth Games which is really exciting and it makes me feel a little bit like a veteran but it also gives me a lot of experience and some maturity heading into the Games and I think that it will give me a bit of an advantage over some of the others,” she said.

Wallace admitted it was "strange” to be one of the more experienced campaigners in the team, but it was a role she embraced.

"I started out when I was 16 and I was looking up to those older ones and now I'm realising that I'm one of those older ones that some of the young ones might be looking up to,” she said.

"It's important for me to be that role model and I am definitely trying to make everyone feel included and comfortable in the team and I think we have got a really great team atmosphere going which is awesome.”

To have achieved so much in the sport across a short time frame was something Wallace reflected on with great pride.

"I think this year has pinpointed really how far my career has extended to because I started at 16 and now I'm 24 and I've been to three Commonwealth Games, world championships and an Olympics,” she said.

"Sometimes you've just got to stop and realise how amazing and lucky you've been to have had such a great, long career and to be part of an incredible team.”

Wallace will dive into her pet event, the 200m breaststroke, for heats and finals this Saturday. USC's Taylor McKeown will also feature in that event.

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