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From Fiji Times Online (10 May 2010)

Water babe strives to be the best

by Sera Whippy

Tieri Erasito
Tieri Erasito

TRITONS sensational swimmer Tieri Erasito will represent Fiji in next month's Oceania Swimming Championships in Samoa.

Erasito began swimming competitively after she joined her swim team at Veiuto Primary School.

It was when she was in Class Four that she realised her love for the aquatic surroundings.

At 15 years, the International School student is striving to become Fiji's best swimmer. Since her introduction into the Tritons Swim Club, she has been a winner in the pool.

It is no surprise that she is a natural in the water. Islanders are supposed to be so and the young lass from Malhaha Village on Rotuma is quite a vision.

This will not be the first time Erasito has participated in overseas competitions; she has competed in numerous international meets.

Erasito aims to become a marine biologist.

Now Erasito has a very colourful swimming background and is likely to make it even brighter in the next couple of months.

She will be travelling to the Singapore Youth Olympic Games in August. Only four sports in Fiji were fortunate to receive universality placements: swimming, athletics, weightlifting and judo. Other sports had to meet qualifying standards to be eligible for the games.

In February this year Erasito won Fiji's only bronze medal in the 200m butterfly in the women's U17 grade and also broke a national record—a new time of 2 minutes 39.21 seconds.

Erasito's past competitions and winnings have put her in an outstanding position.

We will take a short trip into her past to unfold a few of her accomplishments that have carved her name into the minds of people around our country.

To begin with, in 2007 she swam in the Arafura Games and won herself a silver medal in the 100 metres butterfly. She competed in the 12 years and under age category.

And in October of the same year, Erasito swam in the Pacific Swims which was a three-kilometre race and came in 9th place with a time of 49m 17s. She swam in the 13-14 year category.

Earlier in the year, she went for trials for the open water swim team that was to represent Fiji at the Oceania Swimming Championships in Cairns. The race was at The Pearl Resort, Pacific Harbour.

The women's 1km was won by Sarah Link in 18m 50s with Kalani Robertson second in 19:04 and Tieri Erasito third in 19:12. She swam against most of Fiji's best and at the age of 12. Calling it an accomplishment is an understatement.

The trials were also a first time for Fiji swimmers as they were preparing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Year 2008 saw Erasito participate in the Fiji Games. With a time of 1:14.73 in the womens 100m butterfly she was able to grab a silver medal. She later won a bronze medal in the freestyle.

At 13 years, Tieri had enough training and confidence to undertake a courageous 18-kilometre swim in the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa to Beachcomber Island Relay. She was part of the Fiji All-Stars swim team which included Courtney Pene, Daniel Fong, Lucy Joyce and Paul Elaisa. They finished with a time of 4.28.14. The Safe at Heights, No we're Team QNSLD came first with a time of 3.55.02 and Team California came in second with a time of 4.18.43.

She and clubmate, Dennis Miller, were named Swimming Fiji's athletes of the year in November.

In 2009, she won the Fiji Junior Athlete award. Tieri's award reflected her record breaking 2008 domestic season and her performances at the 2008 Oceania Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand and the Pacific Schools Games in Canberra, Australia.

Tieri was at the Foro Italico in Italy, Rome for the 2009 World Championships where she swam in the women's 400m freestyle race coming 59th with a time of 5:10.01.

She also swam in the women's 800m freestyle where she improved by pulling up to 47th position with a time of 10:52.89.

Tieri is eagerly looking forward to the 2011 Pacific Games in New Caledonia and the big one London Olympics in 2012.