It was one of the most memorable moments of these World Championships when Matelita Buadromo dipped below 58 seconds to record a Personal Best of 57.93 seconds in the Women’s 100m Freestyle.
The 23-year-old from Fiji, who has appeared at many Global Championships, was beaming as she arrived in the interview area post race.
“ I’m so happy, over the moon! It’s been so long to try and get under 58 seconds. I didn’t really expect it coming off the Pacific Games but I’m just really happy and it’s also very emotional for me. I was sitting in the call room and thinking, I’m so used to coming out and seeing Mr. Miller for comfort.”
It’s a poignant moment in the interview, tinged with sadness. Dennis Miller, a former Fiji National Swimming champion, FINA Vice President and President of the Oceania Swimming Association sadly passed in June this year. Miller in many ways was the ‘heartbeat’ of aquatics for this tightly knit Pacific Island swimming family. A big loss for them all.
Matelita then went on to describe her race in more detail;
“ I think it was about attacking the first 50m, I'm a really big thinker and so I needed to not worry about whatever happens. I think we had a good recovery after the Games (the recent Pacific Games) we just concentrated on the 100m Freestyle and kind of cut off all the unnecessary things I had to think about.”
She has one more event to compete in these championships, the 50m Freestyle, and she continued to describe her approach to that;
“ I think I will just do some sprinting as it’s going to be new for me. So, I’m going to be pretty excited about the 50m.”
Finally, Matelita reflected on appearing at yet another Global Swimming Championship;
“ I feel very lucky. There are only a few people who are lucky enough to compete here against the best in the World. I have done this so many times and it still feels like the first time and I’m very thankful.”
It was a great swim by Matelita, and despite her mixed emotions, she was able to savour the moment of winning her race and posting the Personal Best she has worked so hard to achieve.
Source and Pic: The Reporters Academy