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Despite several jellyfish stings Saphron makes big splash for debut open water swim

Rockhampton Girls Grammar School Year 10 student Saphron swam in the 5km National Open Water Swimming Championship held in Busselton, Western Australia on January 28.

Rockhampton Girls Grammar Year 10 student Saphron with her dad Jason before the big 5km race at the National Open Water Swimming Championships in Brusselton, Western Australia on January 28.
Rockhampton Girls Grammar Year 10 student Saphron with coach Shane Kingston before the big 5km race at the National Open Water Swimming Championships in Brusselton, Western Australia on January 28.

Saphron placed 23rd out of 32 other state-qualified females in her age group - a good position considering she only swam her first ocean swim the weekend prior at Capricorn Coast beach Emu Park.


To qualify for the event, Saphron had to travel all the way to Coolum on the sunshine coast where she qualified at a man-made lake.


Saphron said during the journey over to Western Australia she wasn't feeling too nervous, however the race day nerves kicked in when she got dressed in her race suit and headed down to the ocean to do a warm-up swim.

Saphron in her race day suit showing off her strong swimming arms and shoulders.

The nerves continued to build when she realised many of the other girls competing in her race had practiced the day before - with some swimming up to 7.5km in preparation.


She didn't let that deter her though, nor did she let the jellyfish warnings she had been given by the other girls prevent her from jumping in and having a go.


"I wasn’t too scared as I have been stung by jellyfish before," she said.


After a warm-up swim it was finally time to start the race.


"During the race I was stung five times by jellyfish, the worst was on my tongue and lower lip," she said.


Following the race Saphron had a "massive calf cramp".


"I went to the club’s physio after the race, and he calmed it down which helped."

Saphron out in front during the 5km ocean swim.

Saphron's mother Sheridan said her daughter was still very new to ocean swimming, but was excited she was given chance to compete thanks to encouragement from Rockhampton Girls Grammar School and her swimming club.


"Saphron has never done distance swimming, nor been given the opportunity.


"It is only because of Rocky City Swimming Club, her coach, and Rockhampton Girls Grammar Boarding that opened these doors," she said.


Saphron said the race was a great experience for her.


"Overall, it was a fun experience and hopefully I get to do it again next year," she said.


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