Olympics in his sights
Matthew Stanley is swimming his way around the world one stroke at a time – his next stop is the world championships in Shanghai.
The 19-year-old from Matamata was one of 15 New Zealand swimmers selected for the World Swimming Championships in July after qualifying at the nationals in Auckland two weeks ago.
He qualified under the Sparcfunded 2016 Olympic Podium Pathways initiative which is for swimmers born after 1988 and who rank in the top 50 in the world. Stanley said he was ‘‘stoked’’ to be selected.
‘‘The world champs has been a goal for the last year, so it is massive to get there,’’ he said.
‘‘I am really looking forward to the level of competition. It is pretty insane over there.’’
At the world champs Stanley will be up against the likes of swimming legend Michael Phelps.
Former Matamata woman Penelope Marshall also qualified for the world champs and will be competing in the 4x200m freestyle relay team.
Although this is a milestone for Stanley he still has higher hopes.
‘‘I would like to make the top 20 in the world by the end of the year,’’ he said.
In addition to being selected for the world champs he has just won Emerging International Swimmer of the Year, a prestigious award that reflects his recent success.
Stanley, who started swimming as a 10 year old, said the ultimate goal was qualifying for the Olympics in London next year and he is determined to get there.
He trains for 20 hours a week in the pool and 10 hours out of the pool, improving his fitness.
‘‘It is nearly a full time job,’’ he said.
In between lengths he studies part time towards a bachelor of business at Massey University’s Auckland campus.