Defending Champs Name Dual CaptainsTuesday, 20 September 2022
The New Zealand Surf Lifesaving junior Black Fins have announced their two captains for the upcoming World Championships in Italy.
Mairangi Bay’s Zoe Crawford and Waikanae’s Lachie Falloon will lead the team against the world’s best junior surf lifesavers in the pool and on the beach in Riccione, Italy at the end of September. World Championships junior campaign lead Zac Franich says the decision to appoint Crawford and Falloon was both easy and tough.
“We have a strong team of individuals who are all leaders in their own right, as a coach that’s a blessing but it also makes it a tough decision to make when you have so many options,” he says.
“But when it came to choosing Zoe and Lachie it was also an easy one as they are both very strong in their individual disciplines at the pool and the beach but definitely stand up as big time team players. “And that’s exactly what we need in Italy.”
Franich has assembled a talented team for the World Championships. And he is conscious that he’ll need them all to fire as the Kiwis look to defend the title they won in Adelaide in 2018. With a gap in proceedings due to Covid closing borders worldwide, this year’s World Championships will be a strongly contested event.
“World Champs are usually held every two years,” Franich says.
“With a longer gap there’s obviously been quite a changing of the guard happen in all teams.
“Junior teams are made up of 15-18-year-olds so even the youngest of those who raced in Adelaide are likely to have cycled out of the junior teams and into the Open teams.
“We also haven’t been able to race that much overseas so every country is coming into the event relatively blind in terms of knowing what their competition has been up to.
“But, I’m very confident we have a team that can defend the title the 2018 team won.”
Franich points to the success some of the team had recently at the Australian Pool Rescue titles as a good indicator of their preparations.
“It was great to see some of our swimmers really put in some great performances,” he says.
“Not only did we have personal bests but some New Zealand and Australian record times and a number of Australian titles.”
But Franich is also very aware that there will be multiple challenges from their key rivals in Italy.
“We’re not going into this campaign resting on our laurels,” he says.
“We know we will have to work for it. We’re ready to do that and I have absolute faith in all of our athletes to rise to the challenge.”
The World Championships get underway in Riccione, Italy on September 27.
The Junior Black Fins team is:
- Charlize Menefy - Orewa
- George Wenman - Orewa
- Lucy Bartlett - Omanu
- Jack Keepa - Waikanae
- Summer Rolston - Waikanae
- Gus Shivnan - Omanu
- Rosie Falcous - South Brighton
- Lachie Falloon - Waikanae
- Zoe Crawford - Mairangi Bay
- Jayden Murphy - Mt Maunganui
- Talitha McEwan - Mt Maunganui
- Oska Smith - Waikanae