Swim Rotorua stalwart Paddy Baylis has raced well at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.

The event is held every two years and this time it was hosted by Fiji, attracting more than 300 swimmers from 11 nations, including the swimming superpowers from the USA, Australia, China, Canada and Japan.

Competing in his signature freestyle events, Baylis captured three personal best times from his four events. In his favoured 1500m freestyle he finished strongly to come home in a time of 16m 06.55s, which was only one second adrift of his best time. This secured his best placing of the championships by taking 14th spot.

In the 100m freestyle he managed to take an axe to his best time, cutting it down by two seconds to record a time of 56.07s.

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In the longer races, Baylis produced a very strong 800m freestyle to negative split the race and set a new personal best time of 8m 27.99s. In the 400m freestyle, he took off quickly but could not quite hold the pace to the end. Nevertheless, his time of 4m 07.23s was another personal best.

Overall, the New Zealand team placed fifth with 45 points. USA were the standout team with a massive haul of 54 medals and 264 points.

Swim Rotorua head coach Alastair Johnson was proud of Baylis' achievements in Fiji.

"He has produced a really solid series of races which is a reflection of his detailed preparation. Although Paddy is now 18, he is still learning to race at international level, and I have no doubt that this experience will encourage him to strive to the next level.

"This week he starts a new chapter with his swimming by joining Pomona College in southern California. I wish him all the best, and I look forward to having Paddy back with his Swim Rotorua teammates in December."

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