Josh Hiraoka has held the number one ranking for his age cateogory in the 50m fly for the past month and will be aiming to bring home some serious hardware from the provincials in August.

Local swimmer Josh Hiraoka sets his sights on provincial gold

Hiroaka is currently ranked number 1 in the province in the 50m butterfly for his age category.

Sometimes, mom really does know best.

At least that was the case for Josh Hiraoka, who only got his start in swimming after his mother put him in the Golden Dolphins Swim Club when he was 10 years old.

“I really hated it when I started…after my first practice I was crying and stuff, it was a mess,” he laughed.

Eventually Hiraoka learned to tolerate, and then enjoy, swimming competitively, and it’s a good thing he stuck with it because it has developed into his clear cut best sport.

So far this season, Hiraoka is ranked number 1 in B.C. in his age category for the 50m butterfly, while also holding down 5th in the 50m freestyle, 7th in 100m fly and 9th in the 100m free.

While Hiraoka’s off-season was spent away from the pool, as it usually is for him, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t getting ready for the swim season just the same.

“I’ve been back (at the gym) and I’ve been doing fly-based exercises, I felt that really helped,” he said. “Especially last year, near the end of the year, I was pretty steady on the fly time and then I started working out and I got a great time at regionals.”

That extra training has allowed him to shave about a second off of his 50m fly time, a huge improvement in just a year.

That’s not to say Hiraoka wasn’t a top competitor last year, however, because he was. He was good enough to make it into the finals in the 50m fly at last year’s provincials, but didn’t have his best swim and finished 5th.

“There were a bunch of factors, it was really cold and I was too amped, I got too overexcited and I started rushing my strokes,” Hiraoka said. “I wanted that medal really badly.”

This year, with that experience under his belt, he has even bigger aspirations as he seeks redemption for last year’s struggles at the provincials, especially in his best event, the 50m fly.

“I’m going to try and get a gold medal. I’ve been holding that (number 1 ranking) for a while…that’s my ultimate goal, because Golden has never brought home a provincial gold medal to date, so I’m going to try and get that first one.”

He will swim in the regionals in Kelowna on Aug. 2 and 3 where he will be aiming to qualify for the provincials in all four of his races. The provincials will take place in Kamloops from Aug. 15-17.

At 17, Hiraoka believes this will be his last season where his focus is solely on swimming, as he plans to work full-time next summer before heading off to university in the fall. Despite his success in the pool, he doesn’t know if a university swimming career is in the cards.

“There’s a lot of fast swimmers out there and I’m not sure if I can keep up,” he said.

So far this season, it’s been the competition that have been trying to keep up with Hiraoka.

 

Just Posted

Two killed in two-vehicle crash on Highway 1

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Your weekly Mountain Minute

This week’s top stories… Continue reading

Highway 1 closed to due fatal accident east of Revelstoke

A dump truck lost control and the driver was ejected

Turning Back the Pages: Donald was a happening place before the fire

By Colleen Palumbo Recently, the Golden Museum came into possession of a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

B.C. removes personal limits for bringing home out-of-province alcohol

Previous relgulations placed limits on the amount of liquor that B.C. residents could bring home

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read