Six of the best: David's star turn at swimming national championships

Enfield Public School’s David Kang won six gold medals as NSW public schools excelled at the national swimming championship. Glenn Cullen reports.

A student holding a certificate and wearing six gold medals. A student holding a certificate and wearing six gold medals.
Image: Enfield Public's David Kang won six gold medals at the recent national swimming championships.

After admitting to barely qualifying for the national swimming championship, Enfield Public School student David Kang dominated the pool with an extraordinary six gold medal performance at the Australian titles.

The 12-year-old was named male swimmer of the meet in the primary division at the School Sport Australia National Swimming Championship for his breakout results that few would have seen coming.

After taking up swimming in Year 1, David showed rapid improvement and delivered solid results but hadn’t even qualified for a national championship until this year.

The qualification changed everything.

“It really motivated me, and I started training really hard,” the Year 6 student said.

That meant dry land training sessions six days a week as well as daily two-hour blocs of swimming.

It paid off as he took out wins in his age division for the 50/100/200 metre freestyle, 100m butterfly, 50m backstroke and 4x50m freestyle relay and two other minor placings at Sydney Olympic Park.

With a glimpse of what is possible, David will now look to take his swimming further but remains well-rounded in his approach.

“I’m hoping I could get into the Commonwealth Games when I’m older … but I’ll see what happens with my studies as well,” he said.

David’s wins were among many outstanding performances across the primary and secondary national championships.

In the secondary division, NSW claimed 98 individual and 13 relay gold medals, as well as 25 School Sport Australia individual and five relay national records.

Sienna Toohey (Albury High School) was crowned female swimmer of the meet with three School Sport Australia records and three individual gold medals.

Declan Budd (Davidson High School) had six individual gold medals in the multi-class category and there were outstanding performances from David So (Cumberland High School) (CHS - Sydney West), Koby Bujak-Upton (Barrenjoey High School) and Millie Springett-Kelly (Inner Sydney High School).

In the Primary 10-12 years School Sport Australia Swimming Championship, NSW claimed 52 individual gold medals and 12 gold relay medals.

Eli Gardiner (Edgeworth Heights Public School) picked up four gold medals while Michael Williams (John Purchase Public School), Emmy Hill (Wheeler Heights Public School) and Leo Kim (Excelsior Public School) all had three wins apiece.

Michael Williams (John Purchase Public School) was the male multi-class swimmer of the meet.

In the 10-19 years diving, NSW won 14 individual gold medals and six team gold medals.

A student swimming. A student swimming.
Image: David Kang in action at the national swimming championships.
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