Thursday, August 06, 2015

Fiji’s first entrant into the 16th FINA World Championships, in Kazan, was 19-year-old Matelita Buadromo. Competing in the Women’s 200m Freestyle, Buadromo started in heat two as she looked to break one of her several, impressive national and personal records. Currently, her personal best and national record in this event was set a year ago, in Glasgow, at the Commonwealth Games. She achieved an impressive time of 2 minutes 07.77 seconds.

However, with only four weeks between competing in the Pacific Games and the World Championships, the challenge of recovery was present.

Buadromo, who was the 2014 Fijian athlete ambassador for the Youth Olympic Games, found herself in second place after the first turn in 29.70 seconds. She reinforced her position with good second and third split times alternating between 1st and 2nd place. Sadly, the final 50m took its toll with Matelita completing the final 50m in 34.59 seconds. This was the 8th fastest and crucially affected her final time of 2 minutes 09.07 seconds.

The Fijian won no fewer than six silver medals and claimed 2 national records at the Pacific Games. However she felt that tiredness caught her up a little, as she later admitted;

“The first 100m felt great and the third length was when I started feeling fatigue but I pushed through”.

Her finishing time was 1.3 seconds shy of her personal best.

“It was alright... it wasn’t really what I aimed for but it was ok for me considering I’ve just come back from the Pacific Games. I was just a second off my time from the Pacifics”.

Her experience of competition is impressive at such a young age and her ongoing enjoyment is evident.

“For the World’s it’s really overwhelming you get to race with the World’s best... it’s a lot of fun”.

Matelita takes to the pool again on day 5 of these championships in the 100m Freestyle.

This article was produced by Mike Marron of The Reporters' Academy, a media production company run by young people, tasked with the mission of telling the stories of Oceania's swimmers at the World Championships in Kazan. The Reporters' Academy is integrated into the world of media, education and employment, dedicated to changing the lives of young people across Oceania and the UK.