Pregnancy doesn't stop Young from competing

WILL SWANTON
Last updated 17:10 23/11/2012

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The daughter of Australian surfing pioneer Nat Young has competed at the world longboard championships in China while four months pregnant.

"It's the weirdest feeling," Nava Young told AAP.

"It feels like there's a pebble in my shoe."

The 28-year-old from Yamba, on the mid-north coast of NSW, crawled out of her sick bed after a severe bout of food poisoning to contest the Swatch Girls China Pro, which doubles as the world title.

Nat Young was the world surfing champion in 1966 and Nava's brother Beau held the world longboard crowns in 2000 and 2003.

Nava Young only received a wildcard into the event from the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) because of the withdrawal of Victoria's Emma Webb.

The cause of Webb's no-show? Pregnancy.

"I was like, 'I don't know, I'd better check with my doctor, I'm kind of knocked up,"' Young said.

"She said I should be fine but it feels pretty strange when I'm paddling. I've got the baby bump. For me, I'm massive. None of my pants fit, my balance is off, everything feels a bit strange."

"A pebble in my shoe - I know that's not a very lovely way to describe your baby but when you're lying on your stomach, you're like, 'Oh, what is that?' And it's always there."

"It's a bit odd. Getting to my feet, I don't feel anything at all. It's quite surreal, to be honest. A bit of tandem surfing."

Surfing's big push into the Chinese market will be completed with the crowning of a world champion on Sunday.

"Honestly, I'm so sick, and I'm pregnant - I wasn't expecting anything at all," Young said after being eliminated in round two.

"It's probably not the best thing to say. But I'm just glad to be surfing in China, it's somewhere I've never been. I didn't even know there were waves here.

"It's bizarre. It looks and feels like Hawaii. The water is warm, there are palm trees, it's just the most fantastic experience. Winning was the furthest thing from my mind."

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