SLSNSW Congratulates Olympians

With the games of the 31st Olympiad officially coming to a close in Rio this week, Surf Life Saving NSW would like to acknowledge the efforts of those current and former members of the lifesaving community who took their talents to the world stage.

It has been a year to remember for Avoca Beach’s Lachlan Tame who after being named the youngest ever inductee into the Surf Life Saving Australia Hall of Fame was able to belatedly make good on a $5000 bet with a mate and become an Olympian.

He returns from Brazil with some extra baggage courtesy of the Bronze Medal he picked up in the K2 1000 after he teamed up with Ken Wallace to finish third behind Serbia and Germany.

Fellow Avoca Beach club mate Riley Fitzsimmons made the most of his Olympic debut. Still young enough to be eligible for Australia’s U23 team for the next several seasons, the 20-year-old teamed up with Jacob Clear, Ken Wallace, and Jordan Wood to finish fourth in the final of the men’s K4 1000.

Competing in his second Olympics, Bronte’s Jarrod Poort won many fans with his gutsy performance in the 10 km Open Swim.

The 21-year-old led the pack for almost 9km before finishing 21st, before his father delivered one of the most quotable interviews of the Games.

Two years ago Jessica Thorton (Coogee SLSC) won the Open Beach Sprint/Flag double at the NSW Championships at Ocean Beach Umina, now the 18-year-old who was the youngest member of Australia’s Track and Field team is an Olympic finalist after competing in the Women’s 4X400 Relay in Rio.

In 2015 while living and training on the Gold Coast Thomas Fraser Holmes returned to competitive lifesaving and gave Shannon Eckstein a scare in the early stages of the men’s Open Surf Race at the Aussies.

In Rio the swimmer took to the blocks as part of the Australian swim team. He made the semi-finals in the 200 metre freestyle, and was part of the 4X200 relay team that finished fourth in the final.

The road to Rio was a long one for Manly’s Naomi Flood, but she ultimately qualified for her second Olympic Games. The champion surf lifesaver competed in the women’s K500 where she made the semi-finals finishing the course in a time of 2:01.91 seconds.

Also lining up for his second Olympics was former Manly and now Northcliffe competitor Murray Stewart. A gold medallist in the K4 1000 in London, Rio was a different experience for the 30-year-old kayaker.

This time Murray’s main focus was on the K1 1000 event. He was in red-hot form in the heats (second) and semi-final (first), but unfortunately missed the medals in the final finishing an agonising fourth by around four tenths of a second behind Russian paddler Roman Anoshkin.

NSW Director of Surf Sports Donald van Keimpema said it was fantastic to see so many surf lifesavers compete in the biggest sporting event on earth.

“There is a rich tradition of surf lifesavers competing in the Olympics with those in Rio certainly doing us proud,” Mr van Keimpema said.

Top Photo: Olympian Riley Fitzsimmons competing at the 2016 NSW State Championships.
Bottom Photo: Two-time Olympian Jarrod Poort competing at the 2016 NSW State Championships.

Thu 25 Aug 2016