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World Junior Championships Preview

The FINA World Junior Swimming Championships will run from 26 – 31 August in Dubai. It will be the fourth edition of the championships after they were held in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) in 2006, Monterrey (MEX) in 2008, and Lima (PER) in 2011.

All swimmers who compete in the event are under 18 years old.

New Zealand will be represented by four of our top age group swimmers – Bradlee Ashby, Gabrielle Fa’amausili, Bobbi Gichard, and Michael Mincham. 

Seventeen year old Bradlee Ashby from the Fairfield swim club will compete in the 200m and 400m individual medley. He won a silver medal and two bronze medals at the 2013 New Zealand Open Championships, as well as a silver and bronze medal at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival earlier this year. 

Michael Mincham from the Waterhole swim club will contest the 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle events. He is the New Zealand age group record holder for the men’s sixteen year old 1500m freestyle. He is the reigning Kiwi 1500m freestyle open champion, and he won a bronze medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2011. His future aspirations include becoming an Olympian in swimming.

New Zealand age group record holder Gabrielle Fa’amausili from the Laser Mt. Eden swim club is entered in the 50m and 100m backstroke, as well as the 50m and 100m freestyle. The thirteen year old will be looking to replicate the swimming success of her cousin, Orinoco Fa’amausili-Banse-Prince, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Monterrey World Youth Championships in the 50m freestyle, before representing New Zealand at the Beijing Olympics in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

Bobbi Gichard, also thirteen, won national open titles in the 50m and 100m backstroke at the 2013 open national championships. Gichard will compete in all three backstroke events in Dubai, supported by her coach - Noel Hardgrave-Booth, from the Greendale swim club.