Local aqua athletes shine at world series
THREE of the best swimmers in Lismore showed why they are the aquatic athletes with international potential after they took on the world’s best at the Para Swiming World Series 2020 on the weekend.
At the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, Lismore Workers Swim Team athletes Aidan Yourell, 20, Ben Auckrum, 15, and McKinley Arnison, 14, swam against some fearsomly good competiiton from the US, Japan, China, Mexico and India who were there in preparation for Tokyo 2020.
Coach Peter Harvey said Lismore should be proud their local athletes performed so well.
“Aidan came seventh in the 50m backstroke which was sensational as was Mckinley who took eighth in the 200m freestyle,” he said.
He said Ben Auckram, 15, who is still recovering after surgery mid-2019 to have an injured foot re-broken, swam very well.
“Ben set two PBs (personal bests) against some incredibly tough competition,” he said.
Harvey said the trio, “really punched above their weight,” against some internationally ranked swimmers.
“This including the Dolphins who are the national para swim team,” he said.
Mckinley said she felt “amazing” after the race which was against all age groups.
“I felt really good, really stoked and I’m now up from S8 to the S9 class which is a lot tougher,” she said.
“I was part of the Para Development Team for the whole week so trianing and living with the current para team is part of me stepping up.
“Now I have country champiships this weekend held in Sydney Homebush.”
Yourell said he was thrilled with his result which signalled his formal retirement from competitive swimming.
“I was shocked when I did that time in the S10 multiclass,” he said.
“I had never been so relaxed before before a race, I was more worried about saying goodbye to my mates.”
Auckram said he was pleased with his performance.
“I had eight races and set PBs in two if them, the 50m backstroke in .44 and the 100m backstroke in 1.32,” he said.
“Next I have the national titles in Perth in April.”
Harvey said the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best coaches was wonderful.
“It was like having a brains trust,” he said.