A stepping Stone to the Olympics for Synchro Star

Isabella Zanatta in action

Locals in The Hills and Pine Rivers district will be no stranger to Albany Creek local, Isabella Zanatta. 

Whilst they may not know her name, they will know her by her sheer determination and quiet demeanor. Isabella spends up to 20-25 hours a week training whilst juggling university and work in the hope to achieve the biggest dream of all-being an Olympian representing her country in Artistic Swimming (formerly known as Synchronised Swimming). 

However, this talented lady is no newcomer to representing her country. Since falling into the sport a mere 4 and a half years ago, she has made her Australian team debut in 2017 (the Junior National Team) and secured a Gold Medal in New York along with her fellow Neptunes club team member, Madeleine Laurent. She then went onto achieve her next big goal of competing at the Junior World Championships at Budapest! 

Unfortunately, 2019 saw Isabella dislocate her knee, whichcrushed her sights for the 2020 Olympic trials. Nevertheless, Isabella had a powerful ally by her side in the form of Krisztina (Kristi) Szedlak. Kristi is Australia’s Junior National Team Coach and Head Coach at Bella’s home training club of the Neptunes Synchronised Swimming. Under Kristi’s guidance, she was able to come back stronger both mentally and physically taking out both solo and duet events with Madeleine in the New Zealand Open and Malaysia Asian Open. 

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, normal training came to a halt. However, through the COVID isolation period, Kristi and Isabella worked over Zoom six days a week finding new ways to train in flexibility, endurance work and synchro skills. This enabled Isabella to build up a high level of fitness ensuring that when the pools opened she would come back stronger in an all-round aspect. 

The opportunity to trial for a reserve position for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics arose after girls retired from the original 2020 team. It is such an amazing opportunity for Isabella, and to work alongside the current 8 girls that will travel to Tokyo is an exciting experience. 

‘No matter the outcome, I want to give it my all and walk away from these trials feeling proud of myself and knowing that I swam my best. That is all I can ask for,’ said Isabella.

These trials for Isabella are an incredible opportunity and will no doubt be a stepping stone towards reaching her dream of one day becoming an Olympian!

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