Swimming: Hard work nets Govaerts four Otago titles

Tame Govaerts (Zenith) competes for the same club as Danyon Loader and has the same determined attributes as the former double Olympic champion.

It is early days yet but Govaerts (14), a pupil at King's High School, has produced personal-best results after a hard two-week camp with coach Gennadiy Labara.

After two days of the Otago championships at Moana Pool, Govaerts has won four titles in the boys aged 13 and 14 grade with three personal-best times.

He has won the 50m freestyle (26.80sec), 50 breaststroke (32.43sec), 200m individual medley (2min 20.91sec) and 200m breaststroke (2min 33.64sec). The last three events were all personal-best times.

''I've gone a lot better than I expected,'' Govaerts said.

''I have concentrated on long gliding and have brought power into my stroke and it's working.''

Last night he had a convincing 13sec win ahead of training partner Courtland Ellis (Neptune).

He is training toward the national age-group championships in Wellington in April. Last year, in the boys aged 13 grade he won a gold medal in the 50m breaststroke and silver medals in the 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Matthew Glassford (Neptune) has just returned from the Victorian state championships in Melbourne where he finished third in the 200m breaststroke in 2min 17.40sec.

He is close to the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard of 2min 16sec for the event.

''It's a mental block with me,'' Glassford said.

''I'm stuck on 2min 17sec and just want to get that breakthrough.''

His coach, Labara, has defined the problem. He just needs to sharpen up his turns and start and he would knock 2sec off his time and get to Glasgow.

Glassford was not pushed in the Otago championships last night and won the 200m breaststroke in 2min 20.19sec, 25sec in front of Dylan Bradley (Wanaka).

The Canterbury title in the same event was won by George Schroder (Aquaqym) in 2min 20.36sec.

Canterbury swimmer Caitlin Rennell (Jasi) has always been the bridesmaid and has yet to win a national title.

But it could come this year for the 18-year-old Canterbury University commerce student, who looked sharp when winning the open women's 400m freestyle in 4min 32.31sec.

''I've had a lot of placings but I want that title,'' she said.

''My best chance of doing that is in the 400m individual.''

She won the 400m freestyle by 4sec from Gendi Roberts (North Canterbury) last night. The most encouraging part of her race was her ability to sustain the pace when it started to hurt in the third 100m.

Kate Godfrey (Neptune) won the Otago title in 4min 30.90sec.

Satori Dobbie (QE2) won the Canterbury boys aged 13 and 14 100m backstroke title in a personal-best 1min 04.22sec and the 400m freestyle in 4min 23.76sec.

The only provincial record yesterday went to the Wharenui 4 x 50m freestyle relay team of Tom Moot, Zac Clark, Jordan Rahurahu and Ben Anngow, who set a Canterbury boys under-16 record of 1min 42.56sec.



Add a Comment