Pathway to Podium

Dan Caldwell has had a great start to the 2015 year. Training twice a day most days all year round, his coach Carl Gordon is working to help him achieve his goals, and the hard work put in has certainly started to pay off. After winning two gold’s and three silvers in the 17 and over age group at the Waikato Senior swimming champs in February this year, Dan went on to become a National Champion last month at the Swimming NZ Age Group National Champs held in Wellington, winning GOLD in the 17-18yr 100m Freestyle event with a time of 52.14sec. He also came away with two silver medals for the 17-18yr 50 breaststroke and 50 freestyle, missing out on a second gold by only 0.01sec. At the same competition Dan also managed to break two Waikato Long Course records in the 50 Freestyle and Breaststroke, one of which has stood since 2006. This gives Dan a total of 6 Waikato records as he already holds four Waikato Short course records. His outstanding performance in the 100m Freestyle has also put him in top position for Male *FINA points in the Waikato, for all ages as at May 2015. (*FINA points allow comparisons of results among different events, scoring point values to swimming performances throughout the world -  The faster you swim the higher your points score will be).

Dan’s exceptional achievements have resulted in him recently being selected to the “Pathway to Podium”,  a nationwide athlete development program, and he is only one of three Waikato swimmers selected to this pathway this year. The program is a partnership between High Performance Sport NZ and Sport NZ, and identifies emerging athletes from a range of sports, with a goal of ensuring they are better prepared to enter the demanding high performance sport system.

Dan is currently working towards his next National event in August – Swim NZ Short Course competition, where he is hoping to come out on top for his age group and make the OPEN finals for his events. He has also qualified for the Queensland Champs at the end of the year where he will compete against Australia’s best, and other international swimmers. He is also continuing to work towards selection to the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and his ultimate goal of the Olympics in 2020.

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