Marlin Bluez Swim Club have proven that they’re the team to beat after scooping 141 medals to claim victory at this year’s 2-day Fiji Swimming LC Age Group Nationals.Barracuda Swimming Club came in 2nd with 61 medals while Dolphin Swim Club Fiji bagged 58 medals.

Breaking individual national and open records in their respective events were Anahira McCutCheon who clocked 2:44.43 in the Female 11-12 200 Back and 30.71 in the 50 Fly. Eden Waqainabete broke 3 national records in the Female 13-14 100 Back, national and open record in the 50 Fly and 200 Fly. Kelera Mudunasoko broke the records for the Female 13-14 100 Breast and Open 200 Breast while Hansel McCaig claimed the Male 17 & Over 100 Free and Open 50 Free.

On the second day of competition, 3 Open Records were broken by swimmers Anahira and Eden. Sharing a few words about their experiences, Zion Waqainabete from the Dolphins Swim Club said he has been swimming for 5years and joined the club at the beginning of last year.

“My immediate target is the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. My club is very open and social. We all get to swim and compete and we all win as a team and lose as a team. During the competition he said he hadn’t done as well as he thought he would but he was hoping to improve his performance.

Zion Waqainabete

Zion considers himself as his own main competitor and has been trying to improve his personal best times. His advice to fellow upcoming swimmers is to “never give up.”

Young Dolphins swimmer Marissa Rai shared her experience swimming for the club for the past 3years. Reflecting back on the competition she said she enjoyed herself fully while competing with her friends. Her goal is to improve on her personal best times. “Try your hardest when you swim,” was her one advice to fellow young swimmers in her age group.

Tina Chute, the mother of Dolphins swimmer Laura Chute, said her daughter started swimming in 2018 in the Learn to Swim program. She climbed up the ladder to reach the competitive level where she has been swimming for the past 2-3years. Her secret to success is hard work. She wakes up at 4:30am daily to go to the pool for her trainings from Monday to Saturday. Her coach is Master Paula Cokanasiga and sometimes Coach Sharon Pickering.

As a parent Tina’s focus is ensuring that her daughter swims her best every time she competes and improve her time.

“She’s been enjoying it and she has her own goals. After the Olympics seeing Cheyenne and Taichi she’s making some personal goals but other than that it’s good to be here at the competition,”

Tina Chute

Tina’s advice to fellow swimmers’ parents is to always be on their toes, be strong and active so that they can help their children prepare for their trainings. Dolphins Assistant Team Manager David Eyre has been involved in swimming for the past 13years. The club brought 12 swimmers to compete this weekend and according to David they hope to field more swimmers to compete in competitions to come.

David believes that swimmers who have gone through the process should return and give back to the sport and develop it. He said it’s easy to celebrate the victories as a club but all the hard work is done behind the scenes especially with the involvement of the swimmers parents. Orca Swim Club Head Coach Mrs. Eseta Malani said they brought 4 swimmers to compete comprising of 3 girls and 1 boy. Despite the hurdles the club faced in the lead up to the 2-day competition, she said their swimmers had performed well and improved their personal best times in all their events. They bagged gold and silver medals in some of their events. As a parent of swimmers herself Mrs. Malani said even though it’s not an easy job all it takes is commitment and sacrifice to get their children to excel.

Swimmer Maki’uti Seruvatu said time management was the secret to success. Fiji Swimming would like to acknowledge J R White & Co Pte Ltd for providing the #Medals, Goodman Fielder for the #YumoSnacks, JIOJI Productions for the #Livestream and #Photography and Pasifika Tents & Supplies for the supply and installation of the Tents.Special thanks is also extended to Fiji National University Sports Science students and Fiji Swimming Technical Officials for officiating at the competition.

“Thank you also to all the parents, sponsors and supporters, for being there and not forgetting the Coaches and swimmers who have put in the hard yards to get here as well as Jioji Productions for making this possible to our viewers near and far,”

Trisa Cheer-Dunn

Story by Fiji Swimming 23/04/2022

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