The two New Zealand teams, the Black Fins and Junior Black Fins, have won 17 medals and even broken world records in their quest for a world title at the Lifesaving World Championships (LWC) in Australia today.
Following today’s successful medal haul, the total medal count for both teams is now over 40 in total, showing how strong both teams are in the huge variety of events found at LWC across the pool and beach.
Today saw the Junior Black Fins head to the South Australia Aquatic Centre for pool events, where they broke an impressive total of seven records; two world records and five New Zealand records, along with claiming four gold medals.
Zac Reid (Fitzroy SLSC) of New Plymouth broke the 200m Obstacle swim record, and was also part of the four-person team that broke the Mixed Pool Lifesaver Relay record, meaning the Taranaki youngster broke two world records this year.
Macy Burns (Lyall Bay SLSC), Tessa Bradley (Mount Maunganui LS) and Oscar Williams (Piha SLSC) joined Reid in the Mixed Pool Lifesaver Relay world record.
Junior Black Fins coach Matt Cairns said he is “incredibly proud” of the team
“The team really stepped it up another notch today and it was great to see. All the training they’ve been putting in has shown today and again, we’re delighted but not surprised by the results because they are the most dedicated, passionate group of young athletes you could find,”
“Tomorrow will be more of the same for us. Focusing on doing our best in each race and supporting each other. It’s been working very well for us so far,” added Cairns.
Meanwhile, the Black Fins enjoyed their first day on the beach and secured medals from both ocean and beach events, showing the skill of the team across the board.
Danielle McKenzie (Mairangi Bay SLSC) continued to dominate the board rescue event, by taking home gold and becoming the Board Rescue World Champion today.
While sprinter Olivia Eaton won gold in a thrilling Beach Sprint finale, and helping her team-mates secure silver in the Beach Relay race. The Beach Relay team was also boosted by Danielle McKenzie, Natalie Peat and Carina Doyle.
“It still feels a bit unreal,” said Eaton of her win. “I am very proud to win this medal and also to be a Black Fin. There was a lot of emotion behind my run today and I’m glad all my hard work has paid off.”
Black Fins Team Manager, Mark Weatherall, said it was a tough day on the beach but they’re incredibly proud of the team and particularly the two gold medallists today.
“A few things didn’t quite go our way today but overall, we’re still in the fight. Everyone put in a huge effort out there today and we’re incredibly proud of them for doing that.”
“Having a huge contingent of Kiwi support has also made a massive difference, both here in Adelaide and at home in New Zealand. We see all the messages from home and hear the cheers from the stands, and that’s really special. We really do have the best supporters in world, so thank you,” Weatherall added.
Tomorrow also marks the arrival of the final New Zealand national lifesaving team – the New Zealand Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) team, who start competition on Wednesday. Two crews, one male and one female, will be racing the iconic orange IRB boats used in the majority of lifesaving rescues in New Zealand.
The final day of racing for the Black Fins and Junior Black Fins is tomorrow, where they’ll wrap up their campaign at Glenelg Beach.
Junior Black Fins
Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157