Open water swimmer sets sights on Olympics

Mandurah 15-year-old Ben Roots has competed in pool swimming competitions for the last five years, but after switching over to open water now he’s really making waves.

In January of 2017 he is set to represent Western Australia in the Under 15’s National Open Water Championships (NOWC) in Adelaide, in the 5km and 7.5km distances.

He qualified for the finals at the State Open and Age Short Course Championships in September.

“One of the goals I set back in April was to qualify for the NOWC this year, and all the training over the winter in the outside pool was aiming toward this goal,” Ben said.

“I am excited to have qualified and now I need to refocus and prepare the best I can for this event.” 

Last season Ben had top three finishes for his age in all the local Open Water events he participated in, except two where he finished 4th. 

Ben swam in seven rounds before breaking this thumb in January and was unable to swim for the rest of that summer season. 

He also recently participated in the WA Open Water State Championships on November 20 at Champion Lakes and finished 7th in the 15-year-old age group.

Ben said that his ambition is to qualify for the 2020 Olympic trials and swim with the best swimmers in Australia in the open water event.

He is currently training eight times a week, with his coach tailoring his training toward the NOWC at the start of next year.

After the NOWC in January 2017, Ben will be competing in pool events until the Open Water season begins again in October 2017. 

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