Thirteen-year-old Kiwi swimmer claims 50m backstroke title at FINA World Junior Championships, Dubai

  • 30/08/2013

Thirteen year old Auckland swimmer Gabrielle Fa’amausili is the new 50m backstroke World Junior Champion.

Fa’amausili took out the final at the fourth FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai this morning (NZ time).

The Laser Mt Eden club swimmer follows in the footsteps of her cousin Orinoco Fa’amausili-Banse, who won a world junior title in Mexico in 2008, and also went on to represent New Zealand at the Beijing Olympics.

The 13-year-old was the youngest swimmer in the final, with female swimmers eligible if they were born from 1996 to 1999.

She led the race from start to finish with the quickest reaction time off the starting blocks.

Her winning time of 28.64 was half a second outside her record time she set in the heat, but still enough to grab the win from Russia’s Daria Ustinova and American Clara Smiddy.

Fa’amausili’s heat time yesterday of 28.14 was both a New Zealand Open and World Championship record time.

Earlier in the day Fa’amausili qualified for the semifinals of the 50m freestyle, but decided to scratch the event as it was swum only 15 minutes before the 50m backstroke final.

Her finishing time of 26.10s in the heats was a new national age group record.

Also in action on day five was 17 year old Bradlee Ashby from the Fairfield Hamilton, who competed in the heats of the 400m individual medley but was well outside his best finishing 17th in a time of 4:30.35.

The competition concludes tomorrow with Michael Mincham from Auckland’s Waterhole club competing in the men’s 1500m freestyle.  

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source: newshub archive