Sydney beckons for swimmer


Masterton swimmer Ben Ruback and coach Anna Kitching have been named in the New Zealand squad to attend an open water development competition and camp in Sydney from November 30-December 6.

They will join an Australian contingent in an initiative between the two countries which Swim New Zealand said was created to improve open water skills in up-and-coming swimmers.

Ruback will be one of nine Kiwis contesting open water championship events in Penrith on December 1-2 and Kitching is one of two coaches to guide their fortunes.

Once competition has finished, a four-day training camp will cover all aspects of open water racing skills and strategies.

Competing on the international stage will be nothing new for Ruback.

Last August, he represented New Zealand at the Pan Pacific junior open water championships in Honolulu, Hawaii, coming seventh in the 10km event in a time of 1h 46min 23s - just over four minutes behind the eventual winner, American David Heron.

Ruback made the Pan Pacific team after a gutsy victory in the 16-17ys age group at the national open water championships in Taupo last January. The win came about despite his preparation being hampered by a broken arm from snowboarding.

After surgery, Ruback had to adjust his training schedule, only getting back to full training in mid-December.


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