27 March 2015

Making a splash at Gallipoli

Abby Smith’s swimming career started at the age of seven, when, like most siblings, she wanted to copy everything her older sister did.

Abby’s sister had already been a member of Harpenden Swimming Club in Great Britain by the time she signed up.

Now, 11 years later, Abby is one of 60 athletes heading to Turkey for the inaugural Gallipoli Games.

“Being able to compete against one another is a fantastic way to commemorate our ancestors who sacrificed their lives 100 years ago,” says Abby.

“The Gallipoli Games will give emphasis to the harmonious friendship between our countries and will provide a platform to highlight sporting talents from around the world.”

In the last couple of years, the University of Birmingham student has skewed her career towards open water swimming.

“My main events are now 200, 400 and 800m Freestyle,” she says.

“I moved to the University of Birmingham Swimming Club 6 months ago – one of the top university swimming clubs in the country and have represented them at the British University and College Sport (BUCS)competitions.”

Like most swimmers, her idol is American swimmer and most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps.

“Michael Phelps is a big inspiration to most swimmers and it’s amazing to see what can be done with hard work and determination,” says Abby.

“He’s accomplished something people would have thought was impossible and in my opinion is the greatest swimmer and sports person ever.”

Abby’s focus is now on training for the Gallipoli Games in what will be her first international competition.

“I am incredibly excited, the Gallipoli Games 2015 has given me a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent my country and provides an incredible setting to do this in.”