Triple gold for Bronagh Ryan
Bronagh Ryan has returned victorious from the Oceania Swimming Champs in Fiji and it’s not just the three gold medals she’s happy about.
‘‘We beat the Aussies, that was really important.’’
The Porirua swimmer said competition was fierce between the Kiwis and our cousins from across the ditch.
‘‘It was a huge battle, they were in front of us on the first day and all we could hear was the Aussie anthem playing.
‘‘On the second day our team got a bit of a rark up from our coaches and our anthem started playing more.’’
She said the friendly rivalry in and out of the pool was part of the fun.
‘‘I’ve got a few friends on the Australian team and they were saying they were sick of hearing our anthem.’’
However, hearing your anthem play while you stand on the winner’s podium wasn’t something you got sick of, she said.
‘‘It was a really cool feeling with the anthem playing and the flag being raised.’’
She won individual golds in the 50m and 100m breaststroke as well as a team gold for the medley.
‘‘I’ve got a lot of belief in my ability, I wasn’t expecting medals, I just wanted to make the finals.’’
Ryan said her club took about 40 swimmers to Suva, which was a place filled with friendly people.
‘‘The community was right behind it. People knew what we were there for and would always say hello.
‘‘During the day they brought in school kids to watch us.
‘‘The kids would call out that they love New Zealand and we would yell back that we love Fiji.’’
The team bonding among the Porirua swimmers was a highlight of the trip.
‘‘It was so much fun and so good for the sport.’’
Her three golds don’t mean she has any time off, though. Ryan is straight back into the pool to train for the regionals in August and nationals in September.
‘‘I got back and texted my coach to let him know I was back and he replied ‘I’ll see you tomorrow night’.
‘‘I was hoping for a week off, but maybe I’ll get that after the nationals.’’
Bronagh Ryan was back in the water and training for her next race after her three medal win in Fiji.