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Sports

New year, new swim goals

New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside for many – but ACG Sunderland student Mason Wang has more determination than most.

The superstar swimmer has big plans for 2021, and if his track record in the pool is anything to go by, he’ll have no problems achieving them.

“My goal for 2021 is to break a national record before I turn 14 and I want to qualify for the national squad when I do,” says the motivated 13-year-old.

Already he has string of accolades under his belt. Last year alone Mason made his mark in a number of competitions including:

The 2020 Anthony Mosse Classic – age 12 group

  • First in 50m and 100m butterfly
  • Third in 100m and 200m individual medley
  • Third in 50m and 100m backstroke

The 2020 NZ Junior Festival – age 12 group

  • First in 50m backstroke
  • First in 50m and 100m butterfly
  • Third in 50m freestyle and 200m backstroke

The 2020 Auckland Age Group Championships – age 12 and 13 group

  • Second in 50m and 100m butterfly

Not only that, but Mason also enjoyed phenomenal results in the 2020 Aon NZ Short Course Series (age 13 group), placing second in the 100m butterfly and third in the 50m butterfly.

Plus, he was dominant in the 2020 NZ Secondary School Championships (age 13 group), winning gold for the 50m backstroke and bronze in the 50m butterfly.

For someone who has only been swimming competitively for “around three years” these results are spectacular. But although his 2020 medal tally was huge, Mason says the proudest moment of his swimming career so far dates back to 2019.

“Personally, I think my greatest achievement would be the 2019 AIMS Games where I got third in 100m fly. It was the most nerve-racking moment of my swimming career because I got bronze the previous year and I wanted to do better this time. I qualified for the finals in fourth, so I really had to push myself to get the bronze again.”

Mason swims for both ACG Sunderland and the Waitakere Swimming Club, clocking up around 15 hours each week in training.

“It’s hard to do sometimes and I’ve had to give up many activities to make time for swimming, but I am doing well in school. I also play basketball and have a black belt in Taekwondo.”

The foundations for Mason’s swimming career were laid by his parents Wendy and Xin Wang, who were determined to ensure their son’s safety in a country where swimming and water sports are an integral part of daily life. It wasn’t long though before Mason’s weekly swim school lessons transformed into a genuine passion for competitive swimming.

“The thing I love the most about swimming is taking on the challenges and trying to go as fast as I can. I especially love butterfly because when I started out it was my worst stroke, but it has come to be my best. It feels cool to skid really fast across the water – it’s almost like flying!”