Photo: Joel Marklund (OIS/IOC)
Swimmer Erika Fairweather was one of the first New Zealand athletes in action on day four of the Youth Olympic Games.
Fairweather swam 2.02.32 in her heat of the 200m freestyle to qualify as first reserve for the final.
What’s remarkable about the achievement is that 14-year-old Erika is racing against competitors who are almost four years older than her.
“I was born on December 31st, 2003 which is the cut-off date for these Games so I’m the youngest athlete out of the four-thousand that are here,” said Fairweather.
Despite the age gap the Dunedin swimmer hasn’t shied away on the big stage, posting personal bests and national age group records in both the 100m freestyle and 800m freestyle.
“In one way it’s kind of daunting racing against people who are so much older than me but I’m learning so much off the other swimmers and also from all the other athletes in the village.”
Fairweather will be back in the water tomorrow, hoping add more entries to the record books.
At the beach volleyball Maya Dickson and Tamara Otene came out swinging in their pool match against the Netherlands, who are ranked number two in the world.
“We really went out there hard and fought real hard,” Dickson said.
The duo dominated the first set 21-17, before falling short in the last two, to go down 1-2.
“To even be playing against them is amazing,” Dickson said. “Let alone go to three sets - we took a set off them, we’re pretty stoked.”
“You know I really thought we could take it to them,” Otene said.
This strong performance follows their victory against the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The team are in a strong position heading into their final pool-play match against Bolivia.
In the judo arena Rihari Iki fought one of the bouts of his life against a Venezuelan opponent.
Iki was a point down but managed to pull out a huge move with just 14 seconds to spare, tossing his opponent to even the scores.
“When you’re going that hard there’s an awesome feeling you get, I love it,” said Iki.
The move forced the bout into golden point, where the first scoring point wins.
Iki and his opponent battled it our for several more minutes, each grabbing and manoeuvring the other until Iki got put on his back.
“It was a a shame to not get the win but it was a really great fight, I really enjoyed that experience.”
For a full list of results and for the Games schedule visit Olympic.org.nz or download the NZ Team app.