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Swimmers ready

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, July 17, 2014

WIILIAM Clark and Cheyenne Rova trained together as youngsters in the 25metre Nadi Sports Club pool.

Despite the less than ideal conditions and equipment, the duo rose to the top of the local swimming scene.

This year, the duo attained scholarships at Iowa Lakes Community College and both made their debut at the 2014 NJCAA Nationals Swimming and Diving Meet in the US.

The highly competitive environment set the stage for the pinnacle of their careers so far — both earned their place to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Clark says competition at the premier athletics event would be tough but he is optimistic of bettering his times.

"Just being there for Fiji will be an amazing experience," the 21-year-old Nadi resident said.

Clark is on a high after breaking Carl Probert's 23-year-old 100m backstroke record at the Oceania Swimming Championship in New Zealand earlier this year.

He completed the event in 1.00.93minutes, smashing Probert's 1991 time of 1.00.99minutes.

Keen to continue competitive swimming for as long as he can, Clark is also pursuing pilot training in the hope of walking in his father, Bill Clark's shoes.

For Cheyenne Rova, swimming has been part of her life since primary school. A lack of proper training facilities has not deterred her from attaining numerous medals and awards locally and internationally.

The 19-year-old helped her swim team attain a second place finish in the 2013-2014 NJCAA Nationals Swimming and Diving Meet in the US, the highest team finish in school history for Iowa Lakes Community College.

"Not having access to a 50m pool has been the biggest drawback for us in the West but it has not stopped us from going out and winning competitions," she said.

Rova has set her sights on a career as a physiotherapist while pursuing swimming competitively.

She will be looking at improving on the 27seconds in the 50m freestyle, 1minute in the 100m freestyle, 1m11s in the 100m backstroke and 32s in the 50m backstroke in Glasgow.

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