Olympic aim for champion
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.