THE 2018 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships have been one to remember for Nowra-Culburra SLSC product Holly Abbey.
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Abbey, who was competing for Coogee SLSC while at Scarborough, Western Australia, medalled in two of her three events.
She managed to claim gold in the under 15s female beach flags event, edging out Cronulla SLSC’s Jacinta Davidson-Bunch in a dramatic final – reversing the result of the 2017 decider.
“Going into the event, I wasn’t very confident as I had an injured ankle and couldn’t put any weight on it until seven days before – only getting out of the moon boot the morning of the beach sprint,” Abbey said.
“It wasn’t until the top five where I actually thought I could go all the way.
“Once it got down to Jacinta and I in the final, I was keen to get the gold after finishing second to her last year.
“Having already beaten her during the year, I just concentrated on my technique and let the rest take care of itself.
“Then when I came up with the flag, I was so excited – it didn’t sink in at first.
“This was always a goal of mine but I never thought it would actually happen – it’s easily the greatest achievement of my career.”
Abbey, who is still a patrolling member of Nowra-Culburra SLSC, backed up this gold medal with a silver in the under 15s female beach relay – with clubmates Annabelle Wendler, Ruby Thomasyu and Elizabeth Tanner.
“It was great to share that silver medal with the girls,” Abbey said.
Abbey, who is coached by Mollymook’s Sean Hendry, also finished sixth in the under 15s female beach sprint.
This caps off a sensational season on the sand for Abbey, who claimed a gold and silver medal at the NSW Championships and two golds at the Sydney Branch Championships.
“I put down my success this year to the extra training I’ve been doing with Coogee, which has seen my flags really improve this season,” she said.
“These two medals are a great way to end my junior career, as I move into seniors next year.”
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