SUVA, (INSIDE THE GAMES) – Australia enjoyed a strong start to the Oceania Swimming Championships by winning gold in both the men’s and women’s 10 kilometre open water events in Suva, Fiji.
The competition took place as the Upraising Beach Resort but the swimmers were forced to cope with windy conditions throughout the duration of the races.
Alessandra Colombini was able to claim gold in the women’s event and will now eye further success in the 5km open water race, as well as the 800m freestyle event in the pool.
She was followed home by her compatriot Bianca Crisp, who will also contest the 5km race later this week at the 10th edition of the Championships.
There was further success for Australia, who have sent a 20-strong squad to the Championships, when Jack Brazier powered clear to win gold in the men’s race.
Brazier’s compatriot Lachlan Colquhoun secured silver to complete a strong opening day for the Australian team.
The success will come as a boost to Australia, who have sent several young swimmers to the Championships in an effort to gain experience of international competition.
Unlike at the Pacific Games, both Australia and New Zealand are participating alongside Pacific island nations,
Four days of swimming and synchronised swimming competition are now due to take place at the Damodar National Aquatic Centre.
The week-long event is then due to conclude on Saturday (June 25) with 5km open water races.
The biennial event, first held in 1993, is taking place in Fiji for the first time since 2004.