An avid St. John’s College swimmer has added another feather to his cap by coming second in the Napier Port Ocean Swim.
Year 9 student Jyde Low competed in the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council individual 1km race last month.
His time of 16.04.48 was just milliseconds behind first place.
The 13-year-old says he felt the way he started the swim set him up for a good result.
“My goal was to go out as hard as I could. I got to the first buoy and held onto my lead and then on the way back I went a bit off track, so it was just me and the girl who got first place side-by-side the whole way in.”
Jyde has been swimming competitively for the Napier Aquahawks Swim Club since he was eight years old. However, he only started competing in open water swimming a year ago.
He says he enjoys the sense of achievement that goes with distance events.
“I feel like I am challenged more in the open water as every race is different and I get better over a further distance and can hold my own. It is good fun because you know you’re going somewhere. That’s an accomplishment.”
Jyde admits that he was not good at swimming when he first started out, but, like all talented sportsmen, the key to his success is the hours of practice he puts into his chosen sport.
“I train almost every day – about nine hours swimming and a few hours running and going on my mountain bike per week.”
The sport has helped him overcome physical difficulties with his hands. While he was previously unable to swim backstroke and freestyle, he is now able to do so with ease and confidence.
“I have just practised a lot and I think that has enabled me to do well in the races that I compete in.”
Jyde says his biggest achievement was swimming 4.5kms across Lake Taupō, in the Under 18’s event when he was 12 years old.
Going forward, he plans to get more into off-road multi-sport and triathlons, but swimming will always remain his number one.
“I just want to aim as high as I possibly can and see where that takes me.”
Photo Caption: St. John’s College Year 9 student Jyde Low come second in the Napier Port Ocean Swim. Photo/Supplied.