SWIMMING: Caloundra's Tessa Wallace is poised for her first world championships after strong performances at the Australian championships and her best preparation for a major meet.
Despite suffering through a series of unfortunate injuries, illnesses and an ongoing battle with Lyme disease, Wallace heads to Russia as the national 200m breaststroke title holder.
After finishing 15th at the London Olympics as an 18-year-old, she is hotly tipped to make it to the world championships final three years later - as the seventh fastest qualifier.
Before she left to fly out to Kazan last night, Wallace told the Daily that years of hindered preparations had hardened her for the meet.
"You've got to learn to deal with the things that go wrong and that has made me better and stronger," she said. "You can never get a perfect preparation, but I'm pretty happy with it.
"I have a good base behind me and I'm looking quite well-ranked this year."
The world championships is one of the biggest events on the swimming calendar, but it is not hard to start looking forward to next year's Olympic Games at Rio De Janeiro.
"The Olympics are that pinnacle event," Wallace said.
"You're always aiming to get there, but this is a massive meet with a really tough field so it'll be good practice."
After Russia, Wallace has a two-week break before beginning her gruelling year-long preparations for the Olympics.
First, however, she just wants to post a good time at the world championships.
"If I can achieve my own goals and have a fantastic swim, who knows?" she said.
"There's always going to be favourites, but anyone can win on the day."
Wallace will also compete in the 200m and 400m individual medleys in Russia, having finished second in those events at the nationals.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.