Golden deluge in the pool

Upper Hutt 13-year-old Chelsey Edwards dominated the NZCT AIMS Games swimming finals, collecting eight gold medals in Tauranga tonight.  Photos by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services
Upper Hutt 13-year-old Chelsey Edwards dominated the NZCT AIMS Games swimming finals, collecting eight gold medals in Tauranga tonight. Photos by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Chelsey Edwards’ golden deluge has continued with a record-breaking swimming performance at the NZCT AIMS Games in Tauranga today.
The 13-year-old St Joseph’s Upper Hutt athlete collected eight gold medals in a hectic night of finals at the Baywave Aquatic Centre, setting three Year 8 records in the process.
It followed an identical haul at last week’s national age-group championships in Wellington, although she admitted this week’s effort took a bit more out of her.
“I only had one or two races each day last week, so I’m pretty tired after eight finals tonight,” Edwards said.  “I’m really happy though – it definitely makes it all worth it.”
Her records came in the freestyle events, lowering the 50m mark from 27.26secs to 27.02, the 100m from 59.85 to 59.32 and taking nearly 2secs off the previous 200m freestyle record of 2mins 11.66 in clocking 2.09.97.
Edwards, who trains with the Swimzone Club in Lower Hutt under coaches Frank Tyrell and Kelly Gilmer, also won the 50m and 100m butterfly, the 100m and 200m individual medley and the 50m backstroke.
Other prolific medal-winners in the pool included Glen Eden’s Ikko Shibuya, who grabbed six golds in the Year 8 boys, and Sungju Kim (Rosmini) and Marco Smeets (Sacred Heart) who each collected five gold medals in the Year 7 boys division.
It wasn’t just the big schools dominating either – the Year 8 boys breaststroke races were dominated by a cluster of super-quick rural kids, including Ngawari Pio (Pukemiro, North Waikato), Daniel Trevurza (Riwaka, Northland), Benjamin Stilborn (Piopio, King Country) and Liam Hosking (Pukekohe).
Another rural school to impress was the Hawera rugby sevens team, who topped their pool after some pre-match words from New Zealand women’s sevens player Gayle Broughton.
Broughton, 18, was involved in a national team camp in Tauranga ending today but as soon as it finished, she eagerly tracked down her old school team to lend them support, watching on as they thumped Matamata Intermediate 39-5 to continue their unbeaten streak at the tournament.
“Gayle is from Hawera and we’re pretty close with her,” team captain William Guthrie explained.  “We saw her at the hot pools last night with the team doing a recovery session so we were chatting and got a photo with them.  She told us before the game today that every game is a new game and we’ve got to keep playing hard and having fun – that gave us all a big lift and we knew we were watching so tried that extra bit harder.”
Hawera toppled previously unbeaten Royal Oak Intermediate 24-14 in their first match of the day, then eased past Tauranga Intermediate’s Invitation side 29-5 in the afternoon.  Pukekohe, Tauranga and St Peters (Auckland) won the other pools, joining Glen Innes, Peachgrove, Royal Oak, Randwick, Northcross, Fairfield, Mount Maunganui and Bucklands Beach in the championship group.
New Zealand women’s sevens captain Sarah Goss was delighted to be involved with the tournament.
“This is my first time attending AIMS and it’s really amazing to see how many kids are involved in this,” Goss said. “To be involved in this at such a young age is something that should serve them well for the future.”
Also attending her first NZCT AIMS Games was Pinehurst School sports development manager Jenny Bindon, who retired as Football Ferns goalkeeper this year after 77 international matches, including two world cups and two Olympic Games in Beijing and London.
It proved a notable double for international ‘keepers, with former All White James Bannatyne helping look after the FIFA under-20 World Cup trophy, on display to promote the global tournament coming to New Zealand next May and June.
“This is just the second year Pinehurst has brought a team down to the AIMS Games and they’re just buzzing about it,” Bindon said. “I don’t know where else in the world you could go and play sport like this, where you’re not just competing in your individual code but travelling with a team. I guess in that respect it’s similar to the Commonwealth Games or Olympics – I’ve been to two Olympics and as far as the camaraderie and team support goes, this definitely compares well.”
A trio of Rotorua schools are dominating the girls basketball, with Te Kura O Te Koutu leading the way in Pool A, Rotorua Intermediate on fire in Pool C and Kaitao Middle School going well in Pool D.
Among the leading boys schools are Monrad Intermediate from Palmerston North, Northcross (Auckland), Cobham (Christchurch), Rosmini College, Tauranga Intermediate, Murrays Bay and Mount Maungnaui.
Bucklands Beach    golfer Rose Zheng fired an impressive 75 at the Omanu Golf Club in the second round to hold a two-shot lead over Focus Jonglikit (St Peters), after the Cambridge golfer shot 77.
Jimmy Zheng (Bucklands Beach) added an 81 to his first-round 82 to lead the boys, three shots clear of Taupo’s Dylan Bagley, with Leo Ko (Fairfield) a further two shots adrift after a consecutive 84.
Papamoa College won a thrilling table tennis teams semifinal, with doubles pairing Dylan Bass and Xavier Lea sealing a 3-2 win over Pinehurst.  They’ll now play top seeds Somerville Intermediate in Friday’s final, after Somerville beat Otumoetai 5-0.