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Over the past weeks, the 2021 Aon New Zealand Age Group Swimming Championships was held at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre. This contest sees the best teenage swimmers in the country go head-to-head to be crowned national champion.
Breaking the very first record of the meet was ACG Sunderland wunderkind, Mason Wang. The talented swimmer trounced the existing 13-year-old national age group (NAG) record in the Men’s 100m Butterfly – swimming 1:00.27 seconds. Pierce Collins set the previous record of 1:00.63 in 2018.
Mason was understandably delighted to have taken the title, having set his sights on this target earlier in the year.
“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,” said the motivated 13-year-old in a recent interview.
Mason then proceeded to take a second national age group record in the championships. Swimming 27.23 seconds, he broke the Men’s 50m Butterfly record, which Konrad Herewini had set in 2005.
“I knew I would break the record sooner or later, but I wasn’t thinking about it during the race. So, after I touched the wall in the 100 fly and heard the announcer say, ‘and a new New Zealand age group record’ it felt surreal,” confirms Mason.
“I had been working really hard for this moment, and now that it was finally here, I was overwhelmed with happiness, and I felt a sense of fulfilment. The second record felt more or less the same, but it was special in the sense that it stood for 16 years, which is pretty cool.”
Plus, the Year 10 student’s phenomenal accomplishments in the pool didn’t end there. He also won gold in the 200m Individual Medley and the 50m Freestyle, took the silver medal in 200m Butterfly and the bronze in the 100m and 200m Freestyle and 50m Backstroke.