From pastries and strawberries under the Eiffel Tower to the summer sun of Spain, Jenna Strauch is making the most of the build-up to her first Commonwealth Games.
A scan of Strauch’s Instagram shows her enjoying time out with teammates Zac Stubblety-Cook and Sam Williamson, and enjoying coffee and cake in a laneway with Mack Horton and Zac Incerti.
The Dolphins held staging camps in Spain and France following World Championships in Hungary last month.
“It has been pretty cool, but I don’t think any prep is perfect and it hasn’t all been smooth sailing,” Strauch said.
“You’re in another country, food is different, but for me it’s just about being adaptable.”
Strauch deserves some relaxing days after her ‘fairytale’ silver medal at worlds, as she now has a busy schedule for the Commonwealth Games.
Fresh from her second place in the 200m breaststroke in Budapest, she will also compete in the 100m and 50m.
“To be going in with a pretty full program is definitely an honour and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do across all three events,” she said.
“Comm Games is definitely going to be a challenge for me. I have the world record holder from South Africa (Tatjana Schoenmaker, 200m) and a few British girls and a couple that weren’t at worlds so I’m really looking forward to racing them.
“Knowing that I am in form is really nice.”
Her second place in Hungary has given her a ‘huge amount of confidence’ heading into Birmingham.
“At worlds I wanted to make a final, so to get a medal was out of this world really and something that I was only dreaming of.
“We’re two years away from another Olympic Games so this time is a huge opportunity for me and a chance for me to get better.”
Strauch said there had been a simmering level of excitement in the squad, but that would step up a gear once they headed into the Commonwealth Games village this weekend.
“It will become more real,” she said.
“I’m definitely not one to put a label or a limit on my success so for me I really want to go there and take the learnings that I took from worlds and try to execute them better and put my best foot forward and see where that lands me.”
Extra motivation will come from her partner and parents in the crowd, who were not able to cheer for her at the Tokyo Olympics due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“It is so uplifting and you forget how special it is to have them there, so I am really looking forward to it. I think a lot of families of the Australian team will be over there so I think it will be really nice to have their huge support in the stands.”
Strauch graduated from Bond University with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science in 2019.
“We all need to face reality that our swimming careers are only going to last a short period of our lives, so to know I have something to fall back on afterwards is very reassuring,” she said.
“I loved my time at Bond and have very good memories.”
For information on how to watch Strauch and other Bondies in Birmingham click here https://bond.edu.au/news/71986/commonwealth-games-schedule-bondies-birmingham.