SYDNEY Olympic Park Aquatic Centre is beginning to feel like home for Port Macquarie swimmer Mathilda King.
King claimed a second gold medal in the space of a month when she took out the 50-metre breaststroke final at the NSW All-Schools championships last Friday.
She didn’t have much time to spare as she held on to defeat second-place by just 0.17 seconds.
In the process she set a new personal best time of 35.30 seconds which was a slight improvement on her time of 35.43 seconds in her last race.
In the space of a couple of weeks, King progressed from falling just short of success at that level of competition to widening the gap between herself and everyone else.
Same pool, same result, but a better performance overall.
“It was still close; it went down to a touch,” King said.
“When I came up from the dive I couldn’t see anyone because you just look straight ahead.
“I touched the wall and then saw the other girl right next to me so I didn’t want to look at the results.
“I didn’t really know that I won; it took me a while because I was out of breath.”
King admitted even though she won gold at the Combined Independent Schools event in April, she had worked on being even better.
“I worked on the stuff I needed to work on like the dive, but All-Schools was probably better because it was against the best of the best,” she said.
Twelve months ago, King claimed silver at All-Schools level.
I touched the wall and then saw the other girl right next to me so I didn’t want to look at the results.Mathilda King
“It was good to win and go better because I’ve been training hard,” she said.
The 50-metre event was King’s only event at the meet.
“It was all or nothing, because I didn’t go in any other races,” she said.
So just how good can the teenager be?
“Hopefully they take me to nationals for the 12-14 year olds because I came third in that last time,” she said.
King will next compete at the national titles in June.
She is part of the next generation of swimmers in Port Macquarie that also includes Tom Berryman, Bianca Jamison and Patrick Mullens.
The Hastings appears to have a few names to keep an eye on, ready to take over from Olympian James Magnussen in the next five to 10 years.