By MARK PRICE
No one in Queenstown will be more interested in how New Zealanders do in the pool at the
Tokyo Olympics than 10-year-old Emily Harris.
Competitive swimming’s her thing, and she’s just won her first medals — two gold and two silver — at last weekend’s Otago Swimming Championships.
Emily’s medals (golds in the 50 metre and 100m fly and silvers for 100m and 200m individual medley) went towards a phenomenal overall tally from the Albert Szilagyi-coached Queenstown Swim Club team — in total the 14 swimmers collected 49 medals.
Among them was Max Nelson, 11, who brought home golds in the 100m backstroke, fly and individual medley, 200m individual medley and backstroke and 50m fly, and silvers in the 100m and 200m breaststroke.
Daniela DiFazzio, 15, and Charlie Rohland, 10, each collected six medals.
Daniela won the 100m and 200m breaststroke, came second in the 100m fly and 50m breaststroke, and third in the 50m freestyle and 100m individual medley, while Charlie
won the 100m backstroke, 200m breaststroke, 100m individual medley and 50m fly and came second in the 50m backstroke and 100m breaststroke.
Emily’s mum, Anne, says her daughter started learning to swim in Christchurch as a six-month-old, but only got serious about competing late last year.
She and her husband, Grant, considered swimming a ‘‘life skill’’ for people living around a
lake or near the sea.
‘‘I think if you are surrounded by water you want your kids to be water-safe as soon as you can.’’
Other locals who came home with medals are Xanthe Spencer, Zeb Jarvis, Liam Major, Isabella Marshall, Avril Song, Tallulah Nelson, Finn Henderson, Logan Campbell, Jacob Marriott and Connor Paton.