Commonwealth Games: Kiwi swimmers struggling to stay on the straight and narrow

It seems like a simple thing for swimmers to do, but the New Zealand team at the Commonwealth Games say the task of just staying in a straight line is one of their big challenges on the Gold Coast.

They call Queensland the 'Sunshine State', so the swimming venue for the Commonwealth Games was always going to be outside.

That means battling the elements as well as their fellow competitors.

The aquatic centre has no roof and for backstrokers, that means no reference point, making it difficult for them to gauge exactly where they are in the pool.

"I know for a lot of backstrokers, if you lose where you are, you will swim sideways, lose yourself and run into a lane-rope," said NZ swimmer Corey Main.

That’s been a concern for New Zealand coach Simon Mayne since the team visited last year.

"Both of my athletes hit the lane rope, so from seven-to-eight months ago, we’ve pretty much been practicing going straight."

The swimmers also have to contend with mother nature - the sun, wind and rain. The only reason they would stop a meet is if there’s lightning.

2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games: Swimming

The Kiwi team will be headlined by flagbearer Sophie Pascoe, but also includes teenager Leticia Transom, who'll celebrate her 17th birthday during the Games.

"I was always doing other sports and when I was 14, 15 my coach said you need to stick to this because you’re talented, and if you put the hard work in you could go far," said an excited Transom.

A great attitude to have when you're diving into the biggest event of your life.