Abba claims that the reason why she always moans in training is because she hates swimming, and that her favourite swim set is the cool down – but no one believes her. In truth she is a driven swimmer that enjoys leading the lane and inspiring her teammates with her focus and determination.
Abba has always been very competitive. Her first memory of swimming is of starting a new school age 7, thinking she was a brilliant swimmer, only to be relegated to the shallow end in a red cap until she could prove that she could swim. Within two weeks she was in deep end with the good swimmers. She attended the “insanely sporty” Haberdashers’ Aske’s school where she won medals in two medley relay swims at the English Schools Champs. She swam sporadically at University but then gave up swimming until she discovered triathlon at the age of 30.
Triathlon brought her back to swimming, and introduced her to open water. Over the years she has tried to re-invent herself as a long distance freestyler, but swimming the 14k Thames Marathon confirmed her view that long distance is not her forte.
Abba is now a reluctant, but talented, butterfly swimmer. Her “favourite” event (somewhat to her surprise) is currently 200m fly. She took a bronze medal in GB Nationals in Plymouth earlier this year despite this being the first time she had raced the distance long-course and only the second time she had raced the distance full stop!
Abba joined Spencer three years ago having met Sara and Michael at the pool. Sara mentioned the then upcoming European Masters Champs to be held at the Olympic Pool at Stratford. With that as her target, Abba joined Spencer and, with the help of great coaching from Steve, Jessica and Krys, made the qualifying times and raced in London. She was hooked. Abba loves a relay, although she still cringes when she remembers the Europeans in London, (where Abba was swimming the final leg for the Spencer medley relay),when the live commentator called Spencer as the winners 10m out, only for Abba to lose it on the touch to a Swiss team.
She currently trains with Spencer twice a week fitting in another two lunchtime sessions in Whitechapel around work as an entrepreneur in financial services technology (quick plug for Habito if you need a mortgage….) She is also a super keen cyclist (with a garage full of bikes), and runs whenever she cannot swim. Her current swim targets are to hold her third place national ranking for 200m fly and to get into the top 20 over the same distance at the Europeans in Slovenia in September – maybe even getting under 3 minutes. She would also like to get under 1.10 for 100m free and under 2.40 for 200m free.