‘Outsider’ makes worlds
More goals have been conquered and records smashed by Wanaka para-swimmer Hamish McLean, who has qualified for the World Paralympic Championships.
McLean, 15, who was born with achondroplasia, or dwarfism, was adding to a successful 18 months in the pool which has seen him break several regional and national records and has him lined up to compete in future paralympics.
Last week he competed at the New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland, where he qualified in the 400m and 100m freestyle, 50m fly and 200m individual medley in the S6 category for International Paralympic Committee World Champs Scotland July.
Coach Fiona Hezinger, of Wanaka, said before the competition it was thought McLean only had an outside chance of qualifying.
Amazingly he shaved 14 seconds off his personal best time in the 400m freestyle.
‘‘He’s really committed,’’ Hezinger said. in in
Last year McLean was selected in the Sport New Zealand Pathway to Podium programme and the support he had received with sports psychology and nutrition was paying off, Hezinger said.
So was the extra training sessions in the pool and gym and pilate classes.
‘‘He’s pretty lean and muscly at the moment,’’ she said.
His training would continue in the leadup to the world champs but because of his size he could tire easy, Hezinger said.
Seven other New Zealand paraswimmers qualified for the world champs including Sophie Pascoe, of Christchurch, who won the 100m butterfly.