Australian-based Hamilton teenager Bradlee Ashby has come away from the swimming section of the Australian Youth Olympic Games in Sydney with two medals and three personal best times.
And Cambridge sprinter Talia Horgan also got in the medal-winning act on the athletics track on Saturday as part of two silver-winning relay teams.
Ashby, who is on a swimming scholarship at Southport School on the Gold Coast, gained New Zealand swimming's first medal on the second day of competition in the pool on Friday night.
The 17-year-old from the Fairfield club won a silver medal in the 400m individual medley at the Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre.
He established a new national age group record. His time of 4 minutes 27.31 seconds was 1.5 seconds inside the previous record that he set last month in Queensland and gave him a B qualifying time for the world championships.
He had to dig deep to gain his silver medal after coming from nearly two seconds down to edge out Canada's Evan White with standout Japanese swimmer Ryo Fujimoto too quick for all of them to take gold. The 2m Ashby finished his campaign yesterday with a bronze medal in the 200m individual medley in another personal best time of 2:04.37 behind Fujimoto and White.
"I thought after the heats that a medal was possible," Ashby said on Friday night. "I was still a fair way behind after the breaststroke but I knew I had a better freestyle. I had to dig pretty deep in the final 50m though.
"I knew I could go a lot faster tonight after the heats where I laid back quite a bit in the freestyle to save myself for tonight.
"It was amazing on the podium. I felt proud and very thankful for everything."
There was added reward for Ashby with his family watching.
"I got to speak with them after and they were over the moon.
Ashby also picked up two fifth placings in the 200m butterfly (pb) on Thursday and the 200m backstroke on Saturday.
Three other New Zealand swimmers made finals with Sam Perry (St Peters, Waikato) seventh in the 100m freestyle, North Canterbury's Natasha Lloyd sixth in the 100m breaststroke and Cameron Blair (Kiwi West, Palmerston North) seventh in the 400m medley.
Best was the men's 4x200m freestyle relay that placed fourth. The women's team was seventh.
Talia Horgan teamed up with Amy Robinson, Abby Goldie and Zoe Hobbs to take second behind Australia in 47.29 in the women's 4 x 100m relay, bettering both the national W16 and W17 records.
Horgan ran in the individual women's under-18 200m and 400m for seventh and fifth placings.
Hamilton runner Jacob Priddey finished third in the under-18 men's 3000m and fourth in the 1500m.
- Waikato Times
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