Team Fiji Swimmer Netani Ross has produced one of the best Pacific Island performances at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea after his 52.12 second time finish in the men's 100m Freestyle event which is the fastest time out of all the Pacific Island swimmers all in his first Senior World Championships
“I went too comfortable in the first 50, my aim was to go a 24.8 (Seconds) instead of 25.2 (seconds). Coming back, in the back end, I was a lot faster. I was a lot fresher so then I just gave it my all coming back, so I got the result 52.12 seconds”
The reaction post race from the Fijian Nentani Ross doesn’t lead you to assume he’d just broken his PB.
“That’s a PB for me but, I was aiming for the Fiji record though, it is 51.3 (Seconds)”
It was indeed a close shave for 5x Olympian Carl Probert’s long-standing Fijian 100m Freestyle record of 51.34 Seconds. That’s been held since the 2000 Sydney Olympics with Netani coming within a second of that time.
Netani powered home in the last 50m overtaking 4 swimmers to claim the number 1 spot in his heat.
Netani was keen to speak about the joy he feels representing his country;
“This is something very big for me, all events where I represent Fiji are always big for me, if I had to put it into words I’m very honoured, it’s the happiest moment of my life to put on the Fiji shirt and the Fiji swim cap.”
To whom does Ross attribute his success for his recent performances in the pool? Amongst many pillars in his life such as family and friends, Nentani made a special mention to one.
“Coach Marlene Blake, she helped me look at swimming from a different perspective. Not just swimming up and down and giving your all. Also looking at the detailed side of swimming and that helped me a lot in my swims and got me a lot faster and technically wise.”
We will no doubt be seeing and hearing much more about this Fijian gem in the coming weeks and months. With this Championships now finished for Netani Ross having completed his two swims, is he dreaming of representing Fiji at the Olympics next year? Of course!
Source: The Reporters Academy