Ipswich swimmer Leah Neale is preparing to represent Australia tomorrow morning.
Ipswich swimmer Leah Neale is preparing to represent Australia tomorrow morning. VALDRIN XHEMAJ/aap

Our Leah set for swim of a lifetime in Rio

HAVING been cheering on her Australian swimming teammates in Rio, Ipswich achiever Leah Neale will finally receive her chance to shine tomorrow morning.

Neale, who turned 21 on arriving in Rio last week, is in line to represent her country in the 4x200m freestyle relay heats in the swimming session which starts at 2am Queensland time.

The final is on 12.55pm (Qld time) tomorrow.

If the Olympic debutant swims to her best in the heats and Australia qualifies for the final, as expected, Neale could back up in the medal race.

She will be the first swimmer since Heath Ramsay at the 2000 Sydney Games to represent Ipswich in Olympic swimming.

While she's been training in recent months on the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich born and bred Neale has retained strong ties to the city all her life.

The former Silkstone State School and St Mary's College student has been in the stands this week dressed in her Aussie gear encouraging her teammates.

She sounded relaxed and happy with her preparation after completing her Olympic lead-up in the United States before flying with the team to Brazil.

Leah's parents Ian and Karen, and siblings Ashley and Sarah, are in Rio to watch her race.

At a recent school assembly, St Mary's College student Sarah  presented her sister  with a special video prepared by the College to show their support for the Ipswich swimmer.


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