Knight wins gold at state champs
Kade Knight’s breakout year in the pool has continued this week, with the Tumut swimmer winning gold and silver at the NSW Combined High Schools Sports Association Swimming Championships currently being held at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.
Wednesday was the first of the three-day state carnival, and Knight had a day to remember, kicking off proceedings when finishing second and winning silver in the 800m freestyle.
The 17-year-old broke the nine-minute barrier for the first time when recording 8:59.74, and he was shocked to finish in the medals.
“No, I definitely didn’t expect that result in the 800m. I was hoping to go under nine minutes, which I did, but to get the silver was quite unexpected,” Knight said.
The Tumut product and Wagga Swim Club member than finished 14th in the 100m backstroke, swimming another personal best of 1:07.18, and eighth in the 200m freestyle, recording 2:01.68.
Knight’s crowning moment came in the final event of the day, the 17 to 19 years 400m individual medley, and he didn’t have it all his own way when forced to come from fourth on the final turn, before powering home in the last 50m of his freestyle leg to win by 12 one hundredths of a second, when recording a new personal best of 4:46.42.
The young swimmer was lost for words after the win, admitting he never expected to win gold.
“No, I definitely didn’t come here expecting to win,” Knight said.
“I was excited; I don’t even know how to describe what I’m feeling.”
Knight, who recently finished ninth at the Australian Age Swimming Championships in the under 17s 400m individual medley also finished ninth in the country in the 5km Australian Open Water Championships and has quickly made a name for himself as a good distance swimmer and stronger finisher.
Still, he was surprised to get the win on Wednesday, after turning for home outside of the medals, and even after the race, he wasn’t sure if he had won gold, with the finish so close.
“During the race I could see I was catching them, and I knew I could do it, but I was really surprised when I got to the end and it actually happened,” Knight said.
“I was fourth and a full body length behind them on the last turn, but I come over them in that last 50m and I thought I might have touched first, but I wasn’t sure until I turned around to see it.”
Gold and silver medals at the NSW CHSSA Swimming Championships is just reward for the swimmer, who travels to Wagga daily for training.
“It’s good to know that all the hard work is paying off,” Knight said.
“The last few seasons, especially with last year with Covid and everything, I was a bit disappointing, but this year, I am really happy with what I’ve done so far.
“Hopefully next season I’ll improve again.”
The swim meet is only just starting for Knight, who also swam again yesterday, while today he is seeded to potentially medal in other events.
“I’m seeded equal fourth in the 100m fly, so it would be good to medal and go under 59 seconds and also in the 200m individual medley, I’m seeded in the top five,” Knight said.
Readers can pick up Tuesday’s Tumut and Adelong Times, to see how Knight went in his remaining events, and how other local swimmers faired at the CHSSA Swimming Championships.