Medals are on their way
BUNDABERG'S Jeremy Rethamel will add five glistening medals from the 2011 New Zealand Pool Rescue Championships to his ever-growing collection of silverware - when he eventually gets them.
The 16-year-old Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club member travelled "across the ditch" to compete at the titles as a member of the Australian Under-19 Surf Life Saving Development Team - and he again performed brilliantly.
Surf Life Saving Queensland Wide Bay Capricorn regional manager Craig Holden said despite being an U-17 competitor, Rethamel had to compete up in the U-19 and open age divisions because there was no U-17 age category in New Zealand.
But he was an integral member of the gold medal-winning Aussie open male 4 x 25m manikin carry relay team.
The dynamic all-rounder also claimed silver in the U-19 male 100m manikin tow with fins, and open male 4 x50m obstacle and 4 x 50m medley relay teams, and bronze in the open male 200m Super Lifesaver.
Rethamel also placed fourth in the U-19 male 50m manikin carry and 100m rescue medley, fifth in the open male 100m manikin carry with fins, and ninth in the U-19 male 50m swim with fins.
But the St Luke's Anglican School Year 11 student - and all the other Australian medallists at the championships - are still waiting to receive their medals.
"They were New Zealand championships and their competitors got preference for medals over us - we were just visiting. But they will be sending them to us, and hopefully they will arrive soon," Rethamel said.
"But it was my first time competing in life saving overseas and it was a great experience competing against the best in New Zealand."
A couple of months ago, Rethamel also bagged five medals in extremely tough competition at the Australian pool rescue titles, and to continue his success up to top level, Rethamel has trained long and hard under his coaches Craig Holden (surf) and Paul Simms (pool).
"Julie Davis also does pool rescue with me as well and she's also been a big help," he said.
Rethamel is now preparing to represent Queensland Country for the third year in a row at the interbranch championships at the Gold Coast on December 2-3.
"In April next year, there is also Rescue 2012 in Adelaide which is basically the world championships of life saving and it would be good to get picked in the Australian team for that," he said.