Swimming: Talented juniors to battle it out in pool

By Greg Taipari

Bay of Plenty's young swimming stars of the future will get their chance to shine when the junior swim champs begin tomorrow.

More than 200 swimmers from 20 clubs in the North Island will take to the water for the two-day meet of the Bay of Plenty Junior Swimming Championships at Rotorua Aquatic Centre.

Swimming Bay of Plenty president Bronwen Radford said she was expecting some gifted swimmers for the meet.

"There are some very talented youngsters from around the region and their are a lot of new names coming through who will be looking to make their mark."

The event starts tomorrow, with the first session beginning at 9am and finishing at 12.30pm. The second session starts at 5pm and runs through to 7.30pm.

The third and final session begins on Sunday at 9am and concludes at 1.30pm.

Radford said she was particularly excited about the prospects of some of the Swim Rotorua competitors.

Several of the swimmers produced outstanding performances at the Auckland Junior Championships held last weekend.

Swim Rotorua head coach Alistair Johnson said Paddy Baylis, 12, David Boles, 12, Bianca Donelley, 10, Anasetini Nagera, 12, and Jopae Nagera, 12, were a testimony to the young talent coming through the ranks of the club.

"After two full days of racing, the athletes set new national qualifying times for the New Zealand National Junior Championships in a total of 22 events."

Johnson said swimmers from across the country competed, including a representative team from New Caledonia and Tonga, and the action in the pool was fast and furious.

"Paddy, who turns 13 in the new year, improved a further nine seconds on his national qualifying time for New Zealand Division II Competition."

The coach said the young athletes displayed champion qualities with their thirst for learning and their competitive commitment.

"Bianca was in a class of her own, and dominated the freestyle events, claiming gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle and a silver in the 200m freestyle."

Johnson said the club had a further 16 swimmers who had achieved a Bay of Plenty qualifying standard and would be competing over the weekend.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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