Swimming: Plaque in honour of Laing's legacy

There will be a lasting recognition of coach Duncan Laing's legacy to Otago and New Zealand swimming when a plaque is placed on the wall at the Laing corner at Moana Pool.

The plaque was unveiled at a special ceremony when Laing was appointed the first patron of the Otago Swim Coaching Academy earlier this month.

It honours the huge contribution that Laing has made to swimming during his 40 years as professional coach at Moana Pool.

Laing guided Danyon Loader to two gold medals at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and a silver medal in Barcelona in 1992.

‘‘He is still the only [New Zealand] coach to take a swimmer to gold and silver medals at the Olympics,'' Brian McCutcheon, the chairman of Osca, told the Otago Daily Times.

In his 40 years in Dunedin, Duncan has coached 11 Olympic swimmers and taught thousands of children and adults in learn-to-swim classes.

Osca was formed in 2006 to allow Otago swimmers to receive expert coaching without having to leave their existing clubs.

The Osca squad is coached by Ukrainian Gennadiy Labara and now has 47 squad and development swimmers.

Osca swimmers are placed in the New Zealand top 10 in 34 events. Five of these swimmers are ranked in the top three.

Osca has 13 swimmers competing at the New Zealand Age Group championships in Christchurch this week.

At the recent Otago championships, Osca swimmers won five of the 10 age group titles through the deeds of Nick Tyrell, Katie Kenneally, Matt Summers, Emily Poon and Ronald Poon.

Ronald Poon set an Otago record for 10-year-old boys in the 400m individual medley.

Twenty-three Osca swimmers won 113 medals - 41 gold, 39 silver and 33 bronze.


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