The West

Marlin in the swin for Games selection
Zoe Arancini. Pic: John Mokrzycki

Her goal to play at this year's London Olympics is within reach for West Australian water polo ace Zoe Arancini after an impressive start to the national league season with Fremantle Marlins.

The 20-year-old and fellow national team members Gemma Beadsworth and Glencora Ralph have played pivotal roles for the Marlins, who are second on the national league ladder with nine wins from their first 10 games.

Already a veteran of more than 80 Tests for her country, Arancini was also a member of the Australian side which claimed a bronze medal at last year's junior world championships.

Last month she took another step towards playing for the Aussie Stingers in London when she was named in an Olympic train-on squad of 17.

"Ever since I made the initial squad I have always been hopeful of making the team and just like all the other girls I have trained really hard, whilst always trying to play to the best of my ability," Arancini said.

"Olympic selection would of course be the absolute pinnacle of sporting excellence, one of the most exciting and exhilarating things, and to say it would be a dream come true is an understatement."

Arancini said there was still plenty of work to be done before she could join the likes of Beijing Olympics representatives Beadsworth, Mel Rippon, Kate Gynther, Bronwen Knox and Alicia McCormack in the Aussie Stingers team for London.

"I understand where I sit in relation to selection and know that each time I train or play I have to make the most of every opportunity and keep pressure on the senior players," she said.

The Stingers will have training camps in Australia before finalising Olympic preparations with the London Olympic test event in May and the FINA World League finals in June.

The West Australian

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