At only 16 years old, Jessica qualified for the 2012 London Olympics, making her the youngest member on the Great Britain Olympic team. Even at her first Olympics, Jess only narrowly missed out on a medal, when her relay team finished 5th in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
She then backed up her impressive performance in London, qualifying for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Having learnt from her experiences at the London Olympics, Jess came home with two medals, silver in the 4x100m Freestyle relay and bronze in the 4x200m Freestyle relay.
Now with less than a year to go until the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Jess is ready to race and hoping to qualify for the 100m Freestyle to continue on her path towards one day becoming world champion.
We hope to be cheering you on at Rio next year and every step along the way!
I love to train, I never want to miss a session and it has been no different this month. Oh wait yes it has – it has been even better, as I had an awesome range of swimmers to train in!
With our coach overseas we have had the privilege of training with NSWIS Head Coach and Australian National Coach, Chava Sabrino and his squad. Extra incentive to work hard when you are training right alongside your idols.
Our only planned competition this month was an interclub at SOPAC. I competed in my first Junior B competition of the season on the 1m springboard, finishing 1st, as well as gaining a national qualifying score for next year’s nationals. We are now all working hard in preparation for Pacific Schools Games in Adelaide in November.
This month, I was excited to receive a couple of surprise emails regarding awards. Firstly, I am a recipient of the Local Champions Sporting Grant/Award that I will be receiving next month from Fiona Scott (local MP). Secondly from the CEO of Diving NSW to say that I, along with my NSWIS teammate Ben, had been nominated for an award by the Old Swimmers Union of NSW. So I look forward to attending both these presentations, along with the Diving NSW presentation awards night in the coming weeks.
Double Olympian and 8 times national triathlon champion, Vendula Frintova, is the newest member of the AMANZI Girls team and our first athlete from the Czech Republic. Vendula started in swimming when she was a teenager, but wanting to mix it up, she added cycling and running. From there she fell in love with the sport and has been competing in triathlon for over a decade now.
In 2002, she began competing in the European World Cup series and the following year joined the ITU series, competing on a world scale. Her triathlon career continued to skyrocket from here with many more impressive titles under her belt, including qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and becoming the first woman from the Czech Republic to win an ITU World Cup event at the 2010 Mooloolaba Triathlon.
At Vendula’s Olympic debut at the Beijing Olympics she finished a respectable 23rd place. However, 4 years later at the London 2012 Olympics, Vendula improved upon her previous Olympic performance, finishing 15th. Now, with less than a year to go before Rio 2016, she is hoping to improve upon this placing once again.
We can’t wait to follow Vendula on her Road to Rio!
A warm welcome to the newest member of the AMANZI team, New South Wales junior diver, Jade Sweeney. At just 13 years old, Jade already has her sights set on representing Australia at the Commonwealth or Olympic Games.
Jade who has stood out for her talent at such a young age was selected for the NSWIS emerging talent program in 2012. Since then, Jade has continued to excel, winning medals at the Australian Elite Junior Championships and international competitions. Most recently, Jade was nominated for the NewsLocal Junior Sports Star award.
Jade often dives alongside fellow AMANZI Girl, Kennedy Cooper, in synchronised diving competitions. Last year the AMANZI Girls duo came first at the Singapore Diving Nationals Championships in synchronised diving.
We arrived in Taiwan early on the 22nd of April, with the race being on the 25th. So I had a good 3 days to familiarise myself with my surroundings. It was fantastic to go into a race without any niggles, or injuries wavering around in my head. My goal for this race was to get out of the water first, hold over 35km/hr on the 90km bike and stay near the front, and just hold on for dear life in the run so no one would catch me. And of course to finish and HAVE FUN! I did just this.
The swim was combined with the pro men, but these men where a level above that I have seen swim, so it was I just off the back of them. I managed to exit 1st with Eva, just on my toes. A quick transition and onto the bike saw me still in 1st. On the bike there was a head wind out, and Eva attacked at the start. I slowly caught her at the turn around (45km), where I stayed in the lead. However at 15km to go she bombed past me, but I knew that I had to stick to my own plan in order to run the 21km.
It started to get real warm at the start of the run, this is where I was caught by Katherine, just after 2km off the bike. We ran together for the first 7km and she then dropped me. On the final 4km of the run course all us pros where taken the wrong way, which made my 21km run a 22km thankfully it wasn’t longer because I saw the age groupers from the shorter race going the right way to the finish line.
To see the finish line, where my fiancé was calling me over the line, my old boss, who was my friend before my boss, where there to congratulate me and encouraged me to finish strong. I had nothing left, but still had a smile on my face when I finished. I actually did have fun and enjoyed every minute. That distance is a mental game, but you can in no way do it unfit! It will be a few hard months of training and racing before my next half iron man race in November! Love Brooke xx
14 year old swimming superstar and AMANZI Girl, Paige Leonhardt, is well on her way to making it to Rio for the 2016 Paralympics after a huge week of personal bests and podium placings at Australian Championships last week. Paige, who suffered an irrecoverable brain injury in 2006 after a car accident, has not let this slow her down in life or in the pool. The young gun at only 14 years old took on previous Paralympians at Australian Championships last week and continues to shine this week at Australian Age Nationals. We can’t wait to follow her on the rest of her journey to Rio and beyond!
Check out Paige’s TV appearance talking about her road to Rio and Australian Championships.
When an athlete joins the AMANZI Girls Team, she is doing more than just wearing our swimwear, she is also a role model for all of the young up and coming athletes around the world. Belgium Triathlete Sofie Hooghe is the latest athlete to join the AMANZI Girls Team. We’re here to tell you why we chose Sofie and why you’ll love her as much as we do.
She is a Math Nerd!
Sofie is currently studying a Bachelors of Accounting and Taxation! Not only is she an amazing triathlete but she is smart too! How cool is that!
She has Rio on her mind
Sofie is training and racing around the world in order to gain qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
She is a world class athlete
Sofie has been competing in Triathlons all over the world with the latest being the ITU World Triathlon in Dubai.
She was an early starter
The amount of dedication, perseverance and courage it takes to compete in a triathlon is nothing to be sniffed at. The fact that Sofie competed in her first triathlon when she was only 14 years old is impressive to say the least.
She is an AMANZI Girl
When we take on a new athlete we always look for athletes who are not only great athletes but great people. Juggling training, racing, study and work is a challenge but it is very inspiring to know that if someone else in the world can do it all, so can you! Anything is possible, if you believe.
11 year old diving superstar, Kennedy Cooper, has been awarded North Shore Times’ Young Achiever award for her accomplishments and hard work in diving. Kennedy who started out in gymnastics, has now it seems found her sport, illustrated by both her success and passion for diving. Kennedy will be busy this month with competitions every weekend, all in the lead up to qualifying for Nationals later this year.
Summer is almost gone – or is it? I am excited because this year I get to enjoy 2 summers! One in Brisbane and one in Europe! This May I leave for France to train and compete in my first European series and French Grand Prix series. I will spend 4 months in Europe and hopefully I will find some down time to enjoy the northern hemisphere summer.
December and January saw this body push through some big blocks of training. After a few days ‘slightly’ easier over Christmas, training is back in full swing. Last week I received my new amazing bike which is a Cervelo R5 and a nice sponsorship/ambassadorship with River City Cycles, of which I am very grateful for.
This weekend, 21st February, the first race of the season is on in Devonport, Tasmania where I am competing in the Oceania championships and hope for a good race. In early March it’s off to Wollongong, NSW to compete and after that back for my first Mooloolaba triathlon on the Sunshine Coast in mid-March. It will be a big year, but a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it with a great support team behind me.
Season done, break had and tomorrow marks the start of training for 2015! This has been my 11th year competing in triathlons, I raced my first one as an 8 year old, where I couldn’t even swim 50m freestyle, biked on a mountain bike (which weighed close to 10 stone) and then ran around in one of my mum’s t-shirts! So it does seems weird that I have finally done all the children, youth and junior races and in 2015 I take the next step to becoming a fully fledged senior as I become an under 23 and have to master the art of the Olympic distance!
My last race of the season wasn’t what I wanted in terms of overall position but there were still some positives. I think people sometimes get too caught up in a finishing time or position and maybe if it’s not what they were wanting or expecting they feel as if it was a bad race or a waste of a weekend. My last race was out in Cozumel but unfortunately the couple of days into the race I wasn’t feeling 100%… probably all the Mexican food! Come race day I was determined to give my first senior world cup a good go so from the start I got my head down. The water was so warm and so clear I had to keep focused on swimming and not on all the fish, I did and I was rewarded with the quickest swim. The bike however wasn’t quite as fun and it ended up being a roll around with 55 others and the run was even less fun than that! I was overly hot, my legs were sore, my head was pounding and I was getting stomach cramps – not ideal but I was not going to get a DNF next to my name! I finished (just) and was relieved as it meant I could finally chill out, have a break from training and a holiday!
I’m now back, enjoyed my break, caught up with Uni work and am now ready to return to training tomorrow!
Hope everyone enjoys their winter training but remember…. ‘let’s be careful out there!’