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Kahlia's mixing it with world's best

Kahlia Walsh.
Kahlia Walsh. Tweed Daily News

KAHLIA Walsh's dreams of competing in the 2012 Olympic Games in London are increasingly becoming a reality.

The Year 9 Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School student became the 14 years girls' Queensland champion after setting a personal best time of 35.10 seconds for the 50 metre breaststroke in the Queensland Sprint Championships on Sunday at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

Kahlia's amazing form was also good enough to qualify for the open age final where, as the youngest competitor, she took on the likes of current world record-holder Jade Edmistone.

She took the blocks in the lane beside the 27-year-old and managed an astonishing sixth place.

“It was pretty intimidating competing against such high quality swimmers,” Kahlia said.

“But it was a great experience.”

Kahlia aspires to be like former world champion Leisel Jones, and hopes to emulate her achievements on the international stage.

“It would be great to make the Olympics, as that's my ultimate goal,” she said.

“I'll have to keep training hard though and lower my times.”

Swimming since she was a toddler, Kahlia now trains five times a week at the Tweed Heads Indoor Pool under the watchful eyes of Toni Lewis and Michael Tom.

On top of her already packed regime, the rising star also manages to squeeze in a Pilates session and two cycle classes each week, as well as competing in hockey and touch football during their respective seasons.

“Swimming provides great fitness,” Kahlia said.

“I also love being with my friends and going away to carnivals with them.”