WA Lifesaving Champion ready to compete at Worlds

16 November 2018

Western Australian Lifesaving champion Jake Smith is heading off to Adelaide this weekend, to compete against the best of the best at the Lifesaving World Championships.

Jake, who’s been a member of Royal Life Saving WA’s state pool lifesaving team for a number of years, has had a busy year of competition, taking part in a number of international meets including the Sanyo Cup in Japan, the German Cup and the New Zealand Championships. He says the year hasn’t been without its share of drama.

“I rolled my ankle and tore some ligaments at the Sanyo Cup, which was just before our Australian Championships, and was out of the water for a bit doing some recovery. I had to be careful wearing fibreglass fins, so wasn’t quite 100% at the Aussie championships in the pool. But, since then we went to the German Cup and I went back to where I was at before my injury and have just slowly been getting better and better leading into Worlds.”

Jake has a busy few days ahead at the World Championships, competing in events in the pool and the ocean. “Wednesday is the first part of the competition which is the SERC (Simulated Emergency Response Competition), and then on Thursday and Friday I will be competing in the pool. I am racing in the 200m obstacle swim, the 100m rescue medley, 100m manikin tow and all the relays. After that we go into the ocean side of things.”

The busy year of competition has put Jake and his Australian teammates in a good position to do well against the best in the world. “When the Australian team planned out the past two years they focused a lot on international competitions and racing to give us as much race experience against the rest of the world as possible leading into it. So, we’ve been to the New Zealand Championships, German Cup, Sanyo Cup and all these sorts of events which has helped us to get an idea of where everyone else is at and what it’s going to be like to compete against the best of the best at the Worlds” says Jake.

After the World Championships there isn’t much rest for our Australian lifesavers, with the Royal Life Saving Australian Championships happening in Sydney in January. The West Australian state team has already completed trials and started training for the meet. Jake says it’s exciting to see some new talent in the team this year. “It’s been good to see the younger guys coming through. When I first got into pool lifesaving a few years back we had far fewer competitors than what we do now, so it’s great to see more people coming into the sport. I think our team this year is a bit stronger than last year, because we’ve recruited a few more Open competitors which should help us, and then our Youth team is very strong too.”

We wish the Australian team all the best at the World Championships over the next week, and look forward to seeing of WA team prepare well and do us proud at the Australian Championships in the new year. Jake says for those who’ve considered getting involved in lifesaving the pool is a great place to learn the skills. “A lot of people think of surf club when they think lifesaving, and might not be too comfortable in the ocean so they don’t get involved. But there is also the pool side of it and I’d encourage people to give it a go. Pool Lifesaving is a really fun sport and there are so many opportunities to compete and be able to represent your state and your country.”

Find out more about how you can get involved at the link below.

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