Hervey Bay Swimming Club member Carlo Oliaro won a bronze medal in the 200m butterfly final at the state titles.
Hervey Bay Swimming Club member Carlo Oliaro won a bronze medal in the 200m butterfly final at the state titles.

Carlo powers way to medal

IT WAS the last race of the meeting.

Young swimmer Carlo Oliaro decided he had nothing to lose and he vowed to give it everything.

It proved to be the right decision.

The 13-year-old member of the Hervey Bay Swimming Club won a bronze medal in the 200m butterfly final for his age group during the Queensland Championships at Chandler.

The Xavier College student won it in style as well.

He took a massive 10 seconds off his previous best time.

Not a bad effort when you consider Oliaro, who has only been swimming competitively for two years, had already achieved his goal for the meeting – to reach the final.

Oliaro said it felt unreal to have won a medal at the championships.

“I just didn’t expect to win one,” he said.

“I thought it was good to reach the final but to win a medal is, well, pretty awesome.”

But what was the key to his impressive swim?

“I had struggled over the first 100 metres in the heats so I thought to myself that if I could get that right I’d go alright,” he said.

“I also wanted to perform well because it was the last final so I threw everything into it and it came off.

“I just couldn’t believe how well I went – to finish third in that elite company was a huge thrill.”

One of the junior coaches at the Hervey Bay Swimming Club, Brent Milne, said the bronze medal swim was a huge result for Oliaro and the club.

“For him to finish third was simply outstanding,” Milne said.

“It was a huge upset as he only qualified ninth going into the final.

“That meant he beat plenty of swimmers from the big metropolitan clubs, so that was great for a regional club such as ours.

“It just goes to show that our kids can mix it with those in the city and be more than competitive.”

As for Oliaro, Milne said he was sure the youngster was going to get better and better.

“He’s still growing and with that will come a lot more power,” he said.

“Carlo has a big future ahead of him.”

Milne said the majority of the Hervey Bay Swimming Club juniors are now back in training following the festive break and are looking forward to a big year.

Some including Oliaro will take the plunge in a carnival in Gladstone in a couple of weeks time.

The Queensland Sprint Championships are also on the calendar for many next month.

“I thought it was good to reach the final but to win a medal is, well, pretty awesome.”



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