Step­ping on to world stage

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Looklocal Looklocalwa.com.au - By BRYCE LUFF

FOR some­one who did not en­joy the sport as a young­ster, Swan­bourne swim­mer Jemima Hor­wood has set a nice path for her­self.

The 15-year-old sprint star will wear the green and gold at the FINA World Ju­nior Swim­ming Cham­pi­onship in In­di­anapo­lis later this month.

But an ear in­fec­tion suf­fered about 10 years ago makes her rise to Ge­orgina Hope Foun­da­tion Aus­tralian Age Swim­ming Cham­pion that bit more spe­cial.

“I’ve been swim­ming since the age of 11,” she said.

“I did some train­ing at school and mum thought I was al­right, so she booked me some lessons.

“But I hated it when I was younger be­cause I got a re­ally bad ear in­fec­tion when I was four or five.

“Mum had more lessons booked, but she pulled me out be­cause I didn’t want to be there.”

The UWA West Coast Swim­ming Club mem­ber made her first Aus­tralian Age Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships fi­nal in Ade­laide in 2016.

She did not win a medal, but re­bounded 12 months later in Queens­land by win­ning gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle events.

It put her on course for the World Ju­nior Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships this month.

To pre­pare for the meet, the teenager trav­elled to Can­berra in July with a squad of 30 emerg­ing stars.

Jemima, picked in the 4x100m freestyle team, said she wanted to use the trip to build to­wards a po­ten­tial Olympic berth in 2020.

“I think it’s the dream of every swim­mer to win an Olympic gold,” she said.

“Maybe in 2020. I’d like to at least get close to mak­ing the Olympics in any of the sprints.”

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