FAM­ILY OF CHAM­PI­ONS

Maroochy Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Ju­lia Whitwell ju­lia.whitwell@sc­news.com.au

RE­TURN­ING from her first in­ter­na­tional swim­ming tour­na­ment, Lani Pal­lis­ter has come away with ex­actly what she was look­ing for at the FINA Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onships – two per­sonal bests (PB).

The 15-year-old said she was set to en­ter the 800m event in In­di­anapo­lis, USA and shortly be­fore leav­ing, was told she could also race in the 1500m.

“I’d only swum the 1500 once be­fore I left,” Lani said.

“I didn’t ex­pect any­thing go­ing over there com­pet­ing, I’ve never re­ally trav­elled to com­pete at some­thing like that.”

Plac­ing eighth in the 1500m, and 10th in the 800m, Lani’s real goal was to shave sec­onds off each race.

“I was mainly just fo­cussing on times, and mak­ing my­self a faster swim­mer,” she said.

Lani com­pleted her 1500m race in 16:32, a 20 sec­ond PB, and her 800m race was swum in 8:39, al­most nine sec­onds faster than her pre­vi­ous PB.

With her mum a for­mer Olympic swim­mer, and her dad a tri-ath­lete, Lani has a clear idea of the times she wants to achieve.

“Mum went 8:24 (in the 800m), so I’d like to even­tu­ally end up go­ing as fast as her,” the teen said. “My coach says I can. “She says it’s a mat­ter of be­liev­ing in my­self.”

Sound ad­vice from her coach, who also hap­pens to be her mum, Janelle – a re­la­tion­ship Lani says has re­quired some bal­ance.

“We’ve had to set a bar­rier be­tween the pool and home,” Lani said.

“If I get in trou­ble at the pool, it stays at the pool.

“And at home it’s not swim­mer/coach, it’s mum/daugh­ter.”

Lani’s love for swim­ming ex­tends be­yond the pool and into the surf, where she is also a cham­pion in her age group.

She said the two sports com­ple­ment each other.

“Both of them have dif­fer­ent re­lease points,” Lani said.

“If one’s get­ting too stress­ful, I can turn to the other.”

PHOTO: WAR­REN LY­NAM

SWIM­MING STAR: Lani Pal­lis­ter is off to the World Ju­nior Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships in the US. Lani is pic­tured with her coach and mother for­mer Olympic swim­mer Janelle Pal­lis­ter.

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