Mates but ri­vals in wa­ter

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Two teens are push­ing each other to the top of the New Zealand swim­ming lad­der.

Mt Eden swim­mer Gabrielle Fa’amausili edged out Kiwi team­mate Bobbi Gichard in record time dur­ing the 50-me­tre back­stroke fi­nal in the 2014 May­fair Pools Ocea­nia Cham­pi­onships last month.

Fa’amausili’s time of 28.77 sec­onds broke Par­nell ath­lete Liz Coster’s 2008 Ocea­nia Cham­pi­onship record.

Gichard and Fa’amausili have been close ri­vals in record-set­ting swims since they were 12 and they hope the com­pe­ti­tion will push them on to the podium at fu­ture Olympic Games.

Fa’amausili says the com­pe­ti­tion pushes both of them to their lim­its – but it’s a friendly type of ri­valry.

‘‘The Olympics is the big aim. It would be awe­some to share that ex­pe­ri­ence with my long­time team-mate and to have us both on the podium,’’ Fa’amausili says.

‘‘It is re­ally good to have some­one the same speed and the same age. I sup­port her if she wins and she sup­ports me if I win. We are good team-mates.’’

Gichard says it has been a long-stand­ing ri­valry which keeps the duo at the top of their game.

‘‘We started com­pet­ing against each other at 12 in the 100m back at na­tional age groups when I won and Gabby was sec­ond but it was close. It is good to have com­pe­ti­tion in the same age as you.’’

The 10th Ocea­nia Cham­pi­onships at­tracted 175 com­peti­tors from 14 coun­tries to Auck­land.

Friendly ri­valry:

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