Our 'slippery' swimmer
SHE may be small in stature but Waterworx swimmer Hana Lingo is on the fast track to becoming the next big thing in Australian swimming.
The 10-year-old out of The Springfield Anglican College recently returned from the Pacific School Games in Adelaide, where she broke a national record and claimed two gold medals.
Hana's time of 37.79 seconds in the 10 years 50m breaststroke set an age record for the national school meet. She backed that up with an almost equally as impressive 1:23.2 in the 100m breaststroke.
The newly-crowned national age champion has honed her craft under the tutelage of Waterworx swim coach Paul Sansby for the past four years, and the mentor had nothing but praise for his "little firebrand".
"Hana has just turned 10, and she trains like a mad woman," Sansby said.
"Everything is done fast, and she's super competitive.
"You stand Hana behind the block in any event and you know you'll get 100%.
"There's no pacing, it's get out and get after it - that's in heats and finals."
Sansby labelled Hana's national record time "pretty slippery", and put the sub-38 second swim into context.
"It's obviously the fastest anyone has ever gone at school nationals for her age, so that's a pretty quick time," Sansby said.
"It pretty much qualifies her for club nationals as a 13-year-old already.
"Even though we're not allowed to take them away until they hit 13, she's pretty much already qualified and she's only 10.
"So that gives you some idea of how fast that is - it's pretty slippery swimming."
Sansby said Hana's commitment to her craft is a blueprint which swimmers her age would do well to follow, should they have similar ambitions of competing at the highest level.
"She's just super competitive and loves to race," Sansby said. "That's what you want, kids that come in and do the job who will stand behind that block and be ready to race at every opportunity.
"At the minute she does six or seven sessions a week.
"As she gets older that will have to go up to 10, two-hour sessions a week which is a pretty big commitment.
"But Hana loves it."