Alex Sobers confident of making mark for Summer Olympics

As the June 30 qualification deadline for the Summer Olympics in Paris approaches, two-time Olympian Alex Sobers is certain that everything will fall into place and is not worried about falling short of the mark.

Along with his younger brother Mihael Sobers who is also competing, Sobers, 26, is on the 21-member Barbados swim team in Mexico for the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championships. He told Barbados TODAY that he is thrilled to be representing his country once again.

In an attempt to meet the qualifying requirement in the 100m freestyle, Sobers disclosed that since competing in the Rio Olympics in Brazil in 2016 and at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan, he has modified his preparation.

“A few adjustments I made in my training programme were focusing more on speed and resistance work; also paying more attention to the finer details,” he said.

Sobers said that one of his biggest obstacles in getting ready for the Olympics has been juggling a full-time job with his athletic career. He acknowledged that mental toughness and preparation are crucial in the intensely competitive Olympic qualifying process.

“It is important to be mentally prepared and confident in the training that was put in. Having been to the Olympics two times prior, I know what it takes so I am ready,” he said.

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“As I will be swimming more of the sprint events rather than the middle distance, I have incorporated a lot of quick reaction and speed work in my training regiment.”

The national 200-metre freestyle record holder shared that his preparation for the Olympics as an elite swimmer differs from that of other athletes because of the pressures of competing and training in addition to other aspects of his life. Having a solid network of family and friends, he said, has helped get him through this period.

“Although it is difficult, I am enjoying the journey as it means more. Having a strong support system is key. An Olympic journey is not easy. There are a lot of highs and lows but having family and loved ones support keeps me motivated,” Sobers said.

He added: “This Olympic journey is very different compared to my other two. My previous Olympic journeys were when I was enrolled in school so my training schedule was based around school; whereas working full time and then going to train at a high level is exhausting.

“After taking time off after Tokyo, I got back into training last summer for the simple reason the Olympic year was approaching and I’m still young, so why not give it another run? I knew getting back to an elite level was not going to be easy but I was determined.

“My coach and I set out the goals I wanted to accomplish and created a training programme around my schedule. I am having fun getting back into the sport and racing. It feels like a victory lap as I achieve everything I set out to accomplish when I first started swimming,” added Sobers.

By Andre Springer


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