Macleans College Year 12 student Danielle Asiata has tasted success, winning one of three silver medals for New Zealand at the Youth Commonwealth Games.
The 16-year-old was one of 12 swimmers selected to race for New Zealand at the Games in Trinidad and Tobago.
She competed in five events, the women’s 400m and 200m Individual Medley, 200m Freestyle, Mixed 4 x 100m Medley Relay and Mixed 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay.
Asiata breezed through her heat for the 400m individual medley, finishing first to progress to the final.
She took second place in the final, finishing 0.32 seconds behind first place.
“I just went into autopilot as soon as I hit the water,” Asiata says.
“I just followed the steps my coach and I had been prepping and on that last lap really gave it everything to bring it home.”
Asiata narrowly missed out on a second medal in the women’s 200m individual medley, finishing fourth.
“To be taking a medal back to New Zealand is amazing, I’m over the moon. I didn’t expect it and just want to say a huge thanks to all my supporters,” she says.
Her qualification for the Youth Commonwealth Games came on the back of her results at the National Age Group Swimming Championships in April this year.
She took gold in the 200m and 400m individual medleys, silver in the 100m backstroke and 200m butterfly and bronze in the 50m and 200m freestyle events.
She joined her current club (HPK Swim Club) at age 7 because she wished to pursue swimming at a higher level.
Following her success at the games, Asiata was also selected as flag bearer for New Zealand at the closing ceremony.
“I’m super-honoured to be the closing ceremony flagbearer for New Zealand. It was such an amazing experience and to be able to close for the New Zealand team is really awesome,” she said.
Macleans College principal Steven Hargreaves says Asiata’s results at the games were fantastic and staff can’t wait to celebrate her success with the whole school.
“We have acknowledged her regional and national swimming successes previously, but this is a whole new level.
“She is an extremely hard-working and disciplined person who gives her very best in everything she does and now she is reaping the rewards of that dedication,” Hargreaves says.
New Zealand brought home six bronze medals and three silvers. Seven of those were in swimming events and two in beach volleyball.
As for what’s next for Asiata, she’s right back into training after being selected as one of 32 swimmers for the New Zealand Tri-Series squad to compete against Australia in September.