Bay swimmer claims gold
Paige Brombacher sets new record at Region V Youth Games in Botswana
Port Elizabeth swimmer Paige Brombacher described hearing the national anthem as one of her proudest moments after she claimed a gold medal at the Region V Youth Games in Botswana on Monday.
Swimming in the 200m breaststroke, the 15-year-old Collegiate pupil stole the show as she claimed the win in a time of just over two minutes and 32 seconds, which was also a new Games record.
Paige, who was travelling earlier on Wednesday, said it was a great honour, not only to represent her country but to come away with the gold medal in one of her specialty events.
“My racing leading up to the 200m breaststroke was not as good as I was expecting. So to swim such a good 200 was really unexpected and made me feel good about my swimming.
“To win the gold was such an honour and it meant even more to me because I was representing my country. To stand on the podium and hear the national anthem was very special,” Paige said.
Brombacher said she tried to stay calm ahead of the race.
“I did not want to go into the race with too much confidence and so I was telling myself that anything could happen, she commented.
This was the second time Paige had worn the green and gold, having previously competed at the CANA Zone IV championships in Zimbabwe last year.
“It meant so much to me [to represent South Africa]. I cannot explain the feeling of wearing that tracksuit on the podium made me so proud to be a South African,” she added.Paige Brombacher, Infinity Swimming Academy
“It meant so much to me [to represent South Africa]. I cannot explain the feeling of wearing that tracksuit on the podium made me so proud to be a South African,” she added.
Paige also competed in the 100m breaststroke, 50m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, and 200m individual medley races.
Although she claimed third place in both the 100m and 50m breaststroke heats, she could not advance to the final due to a ruling that allows only two South Africans to progress.
Having recently moved to the metro from Maritzburg, Paige said the move had been a bit daunting but admits she has already fallen in love with the city.
“The adjustment has been a challenge as my mom stayed in Maritzburg until December 1.
“But now my family is back together and I am so happy. I love PE and the people have been so welcoming,” she added.
Looking ahead, Paige said she will take a short break before getting back to training with one eye on the national championships in March next year.
“I am taking a break now then I am going to nationals in March and I have a few galas in between but my main focus is nationals for the next three months,” she explained.
She will hope to continue improving on her times in the pool with all the training she will do at Infinity Swimming Academy under David Glover.
“My plans are to improve my times and hopefully break a few SA records at nationals in March.
“I also want to qualify for the FINA World Junior Championships in 2019, so there are many goals ahead, but these are just some of the immediate ones I would like to achieve,” she added.