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The start of something extraordinary

Swim club without a pool leads way in State NZ Junior Championships

They may not have a pool but that has not stopped the QEII swimming club from Christchurch leading the way at the State New Zealand Junior Championships.

The national event for swimmers 12 years and under is being staged at two venues – Wellington and Hamilton – this weekend.

It is the QEII club that is on top of the competition for Top Development Club Points at the championships. The club has scorched their way to a virtually unassailable lead with the 18-strong group leading on 635 points to date. The next team, North Shore Swimming, is back on 367 ahead of King’s Swim Club 324 with a meritorious effort from Stratford, who have just six swimmers competing, in fourth spot on 313.

The QEII club have been operating out of Jellie Park swimming complex since their lost the use of their pool following last year’s second major earthquake in Christchurch.

There were two national age group records set on the first day of competition, held simultaneously at Waterworld in Te Rapa and the Wellington Aquatic Centre at Kilbirnie.

Hawkes Bay swimmer Bobbi Gichard (Greendale) broke the 2003 record held by Emily Thomas for the 12 years and under 100m back. Gichard clocked 1:05.73 to take 0.6s off the old mark.

Gabrielle Fa’amausili (Laser Mt Eden), the cousin of New Zealand record holder Orinoco Fa’amausili-Banse, broke the record for 12 years and under 100m freestyle in 1:00.60, which was 0.2s under the previous record.

Gina Galloway (King’s Swim Club) won six gold medals in the 10 years and under, winning the 100m and 200m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, 100m and 200m freestyle and 50m butterfly.

Two swimmers won four gold medals comprising Bruin Maunder (Greendale) in the 12 years 400m individual medley, 50m breaststroke, 100m butterfly and 200m breaststroke, while Thomas Wilson (QEII) won the 11 year olds 100m and 200m freestyle and 100m and 200m backstroke.

Meanwhile Joshua Gilbert (Stratford) won three golds in the 10 years and under 50m breaststroke and 100m and 200m backstroke, while Yeonsu Lee (North Shore) took out the 12 year girls 50m and 200m breaststroke and 200m freestyle.

The meet concludes at both venues on Sunday.
NZ Juniors