Surf lifesaving: Cochrane to lead NZ team in Japan

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Ben Cochrane (centre) will captain his country for the first time at the Sanyo International Lifesaving Cup.
Ben Cochrane (centre) will captain his country for the first time at the Sanyo International Lifesaving Cup.

Omanu Surf Life Saving Club's Ben Cochrane will captain the New Zealand team at this year's Sanyo International Lifesaving Cup in Japan.

It's the first time the 19-year-old has taken part in the annual event but he is no stranger to international competition.

He raced in the 2013 International Surf Rescue Challenge in Japan and was part of the Junior Black Fins team for the 2014 Lifesaving World Championships in France.

Cochrane says he's honoured to race for New Zealand and follow in the footsteps of his sporting idols who set the goal to show the rest of the world that Kiwis won't settle for second.

"I am now given the responsibility to step up to the mark and help this culture continue. After watching last year's international challenge and seeing how much heart and soul guys like Max Beattie put in for the black cap really gets you excited to try replicate," Cochrane said.

"It is a huge honour and I am looking forward to the challenge."

As Cochrane has spent more time in the High Performance environment, he has learnt to focus on the process rather than the result.

His main advice for his teammates will be to focus on each day as it comes and string together a good five week block of training in the lead-up.

"When the hard work is behind us, Japan will be all about relaxing, getting behind each other as a team and enjoying racing and the results will follow suit.

"We have the opportunity to race some quality competitors in the likes of Nik Green, Josh Brown and Daniel Collins, who dominate the Australian scene, so it will be all about putting our best foot on the line and enjoying the challenge of racing against the world's best."

His main goal for the event is to see his teammates backing each other, enjoying their opportunity to represent New Zealand and competing to the best of their ability.

"We are all so excited about this opportunity because racing for New Zealand is such an honour and a special feeling. "

Alongside Cochrane in the team of 10 is St Clair's Carina Doyle and Mairangi Bay's Jake Hurley who also took part and medalled in the 2015 Sanyo Cup.

The remaining athletes are Mount Maunganui's Adam Simpson and Jessica Miller, Papamoa's Daniel Hart, Waikanae's Casie Fyall, Midway's Matthew Scott and Olivia Corrin and Red Beach's Kelsi Boocock.

The event runs from July 2-3 in Miyazaki, Southern Japan.

The two days of racing include events such as Surf Race, Board Race, Oceanman/woman, Beach Flags, Beach Sprint, Board Rescue Tube Rescue, Oceanwoman Relay and Beach Relay.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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