Dubbo athlete Xanthie Chatfield has finished the Pacific School Games with a silver medal after producing some outstanding performances.
The 10-year-old represented NSW in the shot put and the multi-event and was a strong contender against the best from Australia and other countries including India, China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
Xanthie finished second in the shot put, with a best throw of 10.86 metres, and sixth in the multi-sport, which included 100 and 800-metre races, shot put and long jump.
Xanthie’s father and coach Jason Chatfield said they were amazed by their daughter’s results at the Adelaide competition.
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“We are over the moon, still a bit lost for words. We didn’t really expect her to flourish the way she has. She wasn’t far behind the winner in the shot put and looks to have a big future in athletics,” he said.
“Xanthie is very pleased with how she has gone and she’s looking forward to going back to Dubbo and showing her friends and teachers how she has done.”
The Dubbo junior was also very proud to be sixth in the multi-event. She was leading after the first three events, but her coach said the 800m race wasn’t a strength.
“She’s still working on her long distance racing but to finish sixth is still a great outcome,” Chatfield said.
Xanthie has been heavily involved in athletics for 18 months. She is a member of the Dubbo Little Athletics club and trains three days a week for an hour and a half.
Two of those sessions are spent on sprint training, working on her speed and strength, with the other concentrating on field events like the shot put and discus.
“Xanthie is an all-rounder. She doesn’t really have a favourite event, she likes them all. The shot put is her specialty but she aspires to be a runner and loves the 100m and 200m,” Chatfield said.
“I coach her and she is part of a squad of young kids. I think that helps her, they all get on really well and have that friendly competition to motivate.
Xanthie competed on Saturday and Sunday, but was able to experience the opening ceremony which involved marching as part of the NSW team in front of a crowd of more than 5000, and was also a part of Wednesday’s closing ceremony.
“The opening ceremony was really something else. The kids marched out in teams and it was just like a mini-Olympics. There is a games village for people to stay in and then the closing ceremony so it’s quite unbelievable to be part of,” Chatfield said.
However the experience hasn’t been cheap and Chatfield said the Dubbo community had been wonderful with their support.
“It’s been phenomenal and we’d really like to thank everyone. My mum Carol Chatfield raised $2100 for us by baking cupcakes and lamingtons and there was a fundraiser. It was a big help,” he said.