Raumati Raptors swimmer Rebecca Moynihan will represent New Zealand at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou, China in December.
Twenty year old Rebecca qualified with a 50m freestyle time of 25.24 seconds at last weekend’s NZ Short Course Championships in Auckland. The time puts her as the 22nd fastest female swimmer in 50 freestyle in the world in a short course (25m) pool. She also qualified for the World Championships in 100m freestyle.
Rebecca has been planning to make the World Championships team since October last year, but says this feels a bit unreal. “To finally have the plan all come together and to actually achieve my goal is amazing. It will be my first time on the world stage which means a lot to me, but it is also an exciting opportunity. It's just an awesome feeling to know that all of my hard work is starting to pay off.”
Rebecca, who is currently studying Biochemistry while also swimming at Florida Gold Coast University, is the fastest female swimmer in New Zealand in 50m freestyle, over both long and short course.
Raumati Raptors head coach Jon Winter couldn’t be more excited for Rebecca. They've been working towards the World Championships for five years. According to Winter “everything has been leading to this.”
And it doesn’t stop at China. “This is a major stepping stone to the 2020 Olympics” says Jon. “We are already planning out what 2020 and the Olympic trials are going to look like.” But he isn’t underestimating the challenges ahead. “Only 360 swimmers have ever got to the Olympics from NZ, they’re harder to make than the All Blacks. What Rebecca is endeavouring to do is really difficult. It’s a very elite special group, but she understands that.”
Rebecca Moynihan qualifying for the World Championships with a gold medal at the NZ Short Course Champs was just one of a long list of success stories for the Raumati Swimming Club last weekend. It won a record haul of 32 medals, 14 of them gold, breaking four Wellington records in the process.
Bronson Lloyd (15) from Paraparaumu brought home ten medals, nine of them national titles in 100, 200 and 400m Individual Medley; 200m backstroke; 50, 100 & 200m butterfly, 400 & 1500 freestyle. He also got a silver medal in 200m freestyle.
Hannah Huria (13), from Waikanae, got three national titles for 100m breaststroke, 200 & 100m Individual Medley. She also got silver in 50 & 200m breaststroke; bronze in 50,100 & 200m backstroke, and 100m freestyle.
Tori Grout (15), from Paraparaumu is the national title holder for 100m breaststroke; also getting silver in 50 & 200m breaststroke, and bronze in 100m IM.
Other medal winners were Annabella Jencova (15) from Waikanae, who got silver in 50 & 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle, plus bronze medals for 50 and 200m freestyle. Stevie Shipman (15) from Raumati South brought home silver for 50m backstroke, and Koanga Tatana-Waihi (13) from Paraparaumu got a bronze for 50m breaststroke.
Swimming clubs from all over the country and overseas, including Australia, competed in the NZ Short Course Championships at the Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre. Raumati Swimming Club girls came 4th overall, the boys 7th. “We were the only small team from a small area and with a small membership to come anywhere near the top ten. Some clubs are five times the size of us.” As far as Jon Winter is concerned it is a perfect storm. “All of this success is feeding on itself. We have a good training facility at the Coastlands Aquatic Centre, plenty of good kids coming through the door, a nice culture in the team and the successful swimmers are bringing others up with them. It is pretty crazy good.”
- Raumati Raptors