Mollie's golden boost for future big events
SWIMMING: Waterworx talent Mollie O'Callaghan has made an impressive start on her first Queensland team, winning four gold medals.
O'Callaghan, 14, also collected a bronze medal representing Queensland at the recent interstate shortcourse competition in Canberra.
Head coach Paul Sansby was delighted with O'Callaghan's efforts, which included personal bests and individual gold medals in her 50m and 100m backstroke events.
She added two more gold competing for Queensland in the 4 x 100m medley relay and 4 x 100m freestyle relay.
Sansby that was a fitting reward for his promising charge.
"It's always good when they are racing in a team environment as opposed to just for themselves,'' Sansby said.
"It gives them a little more responsibility and you are expected to perform in relays.
"It's about your teammates as well as yourself.
"Because we're a smaller club, she doesn't always get to do relays. The kids love relays as well.''
He said making teams often inspired young swimmers.
"I love that sort of thing. It's pretty stiff competition,'' Sansby said.
"Whether it's state or national level, it's always a bit of an honour to make teams.''
O'Callaghan swam four personal bests at the meet, including in the 100m freestyle where she won bronze.
She also came fourth in the 200m backstroke, fifth in the 50m freestyle and seven in the 50m butterfly.
Sansby said her 200m backstroke effort was not indicative of what his teenage swimmer was capable of.
"We're still working free-style and backstroke,'' Sansby said, keen to see her continue her freestyle development.
"Backstroke is her forte at the minute but I don't like to sort of limit them.
"If you're looking long term, they (selectors) take six 100m freestylers and six 200m freestylers (to big events).
"When you get to open national level, there's always a big opening just to make those relays whereas your backstroke, they only need one relay swimmer for the medley.
"It's handy that she can swim pretty solid 100m and 200m freestyles as well.''
Sansby said his short-term goal for O'Callaghan was to help her prepare for the upcoming state titles and national age championships.
She'll return to the Springfield pool for a block of training before focusing on those events.
Sansby said with more hard work, Greenbank-based O'Callaghan could also challenge for a spot on a national Pac Pac or Youth Olympics team in the future.
"It's just a matter of when the meets come up, where they come up,'' he said.
"You've always got those national age group teams in mind, for development.
"The more international competition and interstate competition they can get, the better off they are.''