‘Little fish’ makes a splash in big pond
Breaking multiple Cook Island national swimming records was one of the many highlights Tracy Keith-Matchitt experienced at the FINA World Short Course Championships.
Keith-Matchitt, originally from Tokoroa, was one of three swimmers who attended the Doha event from December 3 to 7.
The 24-year-old said the breathtaking facilities, efficiency and carpeted pool arena made the highlight reel too.
‘‘I couldn’t get over how nice the pool was.’’
And her results seemed to match. The competitive freestyler beat her own personal best in the 100-metre freestyle with a time of 56.64 seconds.
She said she was a little disappointed with her 50m freestyle time that matched her seed time down to the last milli second.
‘‘I was like, ‘damn it, how does someone do that?’ It wasn’t even like .01 slower or faster, it was exactly to the split.’’
But her spectacular times that now make her the record holder for the female 50m and 100m swim times in the Cook Islands.
She said walking up to the starting block was a trip in itself, and a strange one at that with completely carpeted floors and no one on the pool deck aside from the officials and fellow swimmers.
‘‘The TV never really justifies how impressive it is there.
‘‘I was just a small fish in a really big pond . . . being able to watch the top people in my race and other races was a huge learning experience . . . there are so many things I can take back to the pool because everyone who is better than me has got something I can learn from.’’
With more than 150 countries competing, the dining hall made for an exceptionally intercultural affair, she said.
‘‘It stopped Nan and Pop from freaking out.
‘‘Nan kept asking, are you eating OK?’’
Keith Matchitt said the trip would not have been possible without the support from her coach, and former Tokoroa man Horst Meihe.
Going places: Tracy Keith-Matchitt has a huge experience at the Fina World Short Course Championships