Australind teenager finishes third in 20km Rotto Swim

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Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
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Australind swimmer Kyle Lee trains for Nations after coming third in the Rottnest Channel Swim.
Camera IconAustralind swimmer Kyle Lee trains for Nations after coming third in the Rottnest Channel Swim. Credit: Picture: Briana Fiore

Australind swimmer Kyle Lee has a sensational silverware collection and his eyes set on making the Australian Swim Team.

The 18-year-old swam a 39min. 41.5sec. for first place in the Busselton Jetty Swim on February 9.

Lee pipped Netherlands’ Lars Bottelier at the post by a narrow 1.3sec.

However, the 3.6km swim around the jetty was not the only duel that saw the duo go head to head last month. The Dutchman got his payback in the Rottnest Channel Swim two weeks later, where he beat Lee to win a taxing 20km swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island.

The emerging Australind talent came third, clocking a gruelling 4hr 25min. 30sec.

Looking back, Lee said he was pleased with his open-water performance.

“You swim alongside a boat and a paddler who feeds you gel shots for energy, but you’re not allowed to touch the paddler or the boat,” Lee said. The top three swimmers were all level just beyond the half way mark.

“At one point, the three of us were all in a line, but the other two sped up and dropped me at the end,” he said.

However, this was not the first time that Lee recorded a podium finish in the Rottnest swim.

The freestyler also managed to achieve a third place the previous year.

The Zimbabwe-born athlete is part of the South West Academy of Sport.

He swims with the Bunbury Swim Club and plunged into the sport after moving to Australia aged six.

“My parents enrolled me in a swimming club when we first moved to Australia; I made some good friends there and decided to stick with it,” Lee said.

I love being in the water, I like racing and the adrenaline it brings. Especially that feeling after a race when you have given it your all.

Kyle Lee

The Australind swimmer has a cabinet full of 2020 medals after finishing runner-up in the Open Water Nationals in Adelaide in January. This was on the back of winning the Open Water Nationals last year and finishing third in the Pool Nationals in 2019.

Lee is now training six days a week for the Pool Nationals next month and is hoping to study commerce at The University of Western Australia next year.

His goal is to make the Australian Swim Team and compete in either the World Championships, Commonwealth Games or the Olympics.

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