Ash medals at Australian Champs

Photo: Ash Van Rijswijk shows off her silver and bronze medal that she won at the Australian Age Swimming Championships at the Gold Coast Swimming and Aquatic Centre on Monday and Tuesday.

Tumut swimmer, Ashley Van Rijswijk, has continued her stellar season in the pool, winning a silver and bronze medal at Australian Age Swimming Championships at the Gold Coast Swimming and Aquatic Centre on Monday and Tuesday. 

On Monday, Van Rijswijk contested her pet event, the 100m breaststroke, and went 1:17.88 in the heats before recording a new personal best in the final to finish third, swimming 1:17.34. 

On Tuesday, In the 50m breaststroke, Van Rijswijk swam 36.53 in the heats before finishing second in the final, swimming 36.75, only just behind winner Keira Stephens, who swam 36.60. 

In a big meet for the 20-year-old, Van Rijswijk also made the final of the 50m freestyle (tenth), 200m individual medley (seventh) and 100m backstroke (eighth).

“Yes, it was pretty good. I’m very proud of the way I swam,” Van Rijswijk said. 

After most major competitions were cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Van Rijswijk was just happy to be back in the pool, competing against her friends and some of the best swimmers in Australia. 

“I was pretty excited to be back racing everyone. I have lots of friends from other states and stuff. It was good to see them,” Van Rijswijk said.

The Wagga Swim Club member went to the Gold Coast knowing full well there would be competition for positions, especially in an Olympic year.  

“I wasn’t too sure how I would go, there was a lot of competition,” Van Rijswijk said.

“I got a couple of pbs, which is good.”

With Tokyo 2021 in the sights of the young swimmer and her coaching staff, Van Rijswijk explained that she was closing in on the all-important Olympic qualifying time in the 100m breaststroke. 

“I am 0.08 off the qualifying time for Tokyo in the 100m breaststroke, which is exciting,” Van Rijswijk said.

With the Australian Swimming Olympic trials in South Australia on June 16/17, Van Rijswijk said she will be focusing on training and preparing the best she can. 

“There will be lots of training and lots of work,” she said. 

Ashley’s father, Craig Van Rijswijk, said his daughter was on target for the trials, and had since moved to Wagga to be closer to Wagga Swim Club and her training support network. 

“Her goal at this point of time is about 1:16.00 for the 100m breaststroke, and she did do a PB in the final and now it is just a case of refining technique and trying to bring her times down over the next couple of months,” Mr Van Rijswijk said.  

“She is living in Wagga now, and everything is with Wagga and her coach Gennadiy (Labara) will be working hard to have her ready.” 

Asley Van Rijswijk isn’t the only Tumut swimmer competing on the Gold Coast this week, with Kade Knight, who is fresh off competing at the Australian Open Water Championships, also in action. 

The Wagga Swim Club member will be swimming the 400m individual medleys Friday, before taking on the 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley and 200m butterfly later this week. 

Eddie Dodds is also in Queensland, representing the Tumut Swimming Club, competing in the 100m freestyle on Thursday, while in his pet event, the 50m freestyle, he is seeded 10th in the nation and looks a live chance of making the final when he swims on Friday.

Readers can pick up Tuesday’s editions of the Tumut and Adelong Times for both Kade and Eddie’s results.