‘Out­sider’ makes worlds

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By CHE BAKER

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.

Hamish McLean

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