Olympic aim for cham­pion

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORTS - By BEN STRANG

There is a new Paekakariki ex­press.

He’s about four-and-a-half feet tall and has goals of be­com­ing the fastest man in the world in a 50-me­tre pool.

Jack Plum­mer, 9, brought home 12 gold medals from the Welling­ton short course swim­ming cham­pi­onships over two week­ends re­cently.

Not even a se­vere headache and hal­lu­ci­na­tions could stop the Porirua City Aquat­ics mem­ber win­ning, al­though he did get dis­qual­i­fied from one race for push­ing off a wall in­cor­rectly.

While that dis­ap­pointed Plum­mer, who was aim­ing for a clean sweep, he is now look­ing to go bet­ter next year.

‘‘ It was pretty ex­cit­ing and scary,’’ he said.

‘‘I had a re­ally bad headache the night be­fore and had some hal­lu­ci­na­tions.

‘‘I felt a bit sick. In the first race I got dis­qual­i­fied, but then I just thought, ‘It’s OK, I can come back and do bet­ter next year’.’’

In his re­main­ing 12 races the com­pe­ti­tion didn’t get a look in, with Plum­mer win­ning ev­ery swim­ming dis­ci­pline in his age grade and four 10- and- un­der events. He won the 9-and-un­der 50 me­tre and 100m freestyle, breast­stroke, back­stroke and but­ter­fly events, as well as the 10- and- un­der 200m freestyle, breast­stroke, back­stroke and in­di­vid­ual med­ley.

Plum­mer has his sights set on not only mak­ing the Olympics in 2020, but on break­ing the records set by US great Michael Phelps.

‘‘He’s my idol. He has 18 Olympic gold medals, two sil­vers and two bronze. I want to beat him.’’

Ac­cord­ing to his fa­ther, Chris Plum­mer, Jack’s fu­ture suc­cess will de­pend on how big he grows.

‘‘He . . . would one day like to be able to com­pete at the Olympics and beat his times, but he is suf­fi­ciently grounded to ap­pre­ci­ate that this de­pends on a lot of things, in­clud­ing how much he grows.’’

Plum­mer now has 37 medals at re­gional cham­pi­onships, hav­ing started as a 7-year-old. That haul in­cludes 27 golds and more than 50 golds from ma­jor swim­ming meets he has at­tended.

Plum­mer is now pre­par­ing for swim­ming events next month, in­clud­ing one on his birthday, Oc­to­ber 13, where he hopes to sweep the medals once again.

On Septem­ber 27 he will also be at the na­tional cross coun­try in Kapiti, rac­ing in the 9-and-un­der age group for Welling­ton.

Gold by the dozen: Jack Plum­mer has bl­itzed the Welling­ton short course swim­ming champs, win­ning 12 gold medals.

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