Thomas Murray is a national swimming champion. At 13 years of age, the year eight student from Onewhero Area School recently blew the competition out of the water at the AIMS Games in Mount Maunganui.
Gold medal haul for Thomas
He entered seven events and made all seven of the finals, taking out four first places in four categories.
These included the 100m individual medley, 200m individual medley, 50m backstroke and 100m backstroke, where he received gold medals for each.
“Backstroke is my favourite,” he said. Thomas also took out first place overall in the boys division. “It was pretty good,” he said.
Thomas has only been swimming competitively for the last two and a half years. Next year, he’ll be too old for the AIMS Games, but Thomas hopes to continue competitive swimming.
“I want to make it to the Olympics in the future,” he said. He trains five to six times a week, with three of those trainings at 5.30am. Thomas has been involved in a range of swim meets, and can remember his favourites.
“My favourite has been the short course champs at the AUT Millenium pool,” he said. “AIMS Games would be the most successful though.” He says a special thanks to his mum and sister for being his number one supporters, and also to Pukekohe Swim Club. His advice for young athletes is simple. “Keep training.”
It’s advice that Thomas followed himself. Last year he also went to the AIMS Games, but didn’t place anywhere. This year, he said, has been a huge improvement.
“There were some really great swimmers last year, and this year too, but it was great to place.”
While he said it’s competitive in the pool, “we’re all friends afterwards.”