Northlanders to pursue medals at open championships

By Swimming

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Bay of Islands' swimmer Daniel Gaualofa has the best chance of winning a medal for Northland at the Swimming NZ Opens starting in Auckland tomorrow. PHOTO/FILE
Bay of Islands' swimmer Daniel Gaualofa has the best chance of winning a medal for Northland at the Swimming NZ Opens starting in Auckland tomorrow. PHOTO/FILE

Carrying on the excellent results on the national swimming scene this season, eight Northlanders will compete at the premier event on the New Zealand swimming calendar, which starts tomorrow.

Holding the best medal chance for Northland at the State Insurance 2014 NZ Open Championships is 16-year-old Bay of Islands swimmer Daniel Gaualofa.

Gaualofa is the most likely of all the Northlanders to take away medals from the championships, being ranked in the top three in all of his six events in the athlete with a disability multi-class section.

Gaualofa is ranked first in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and the 100m breaststroke, second in the 100m backstroke and the 200m individual medley, and third in the 100m butterfly.

Next best for Northland is Northwave's Winter Heaven, who will be swimming in five events with a best ranking of 21st in the 100m butterfly. He will also be swimming the 50m butterfly and the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle events.

Seventeen-year-old David van der Star, also from Northwave, is competing in the 50m butterfly and the 50m and 100m freestyle events, while two Northwave 14-year-olds, Hayley McIntosh and Callum Prime, will both compete in the 200m backstroke events.

The other Northland club with swimmers to qualify is Bream Bay. Seventeen-year-old David Platt will compete in the 200m backstroke. Joining Platt will be a pair of promising 15-year-olds - Ruby-Lee Beckham, competing in the 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke, and Emma Wickham, who will race in the 50m backstroke event. The open champs start tomorrow and run until Friday at the Westwave pool in Henderson, Auckland.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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