Schulte wins gold medal at Oceania Championships
Benjamin Schulte won Guam’s first gold medal at the Oceania Championships in Suva, Fiji, on Thursday.
In a very close race, Schulte won the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 29.26, beating New Zealand’s Jacob Garrod, who finished at 29.3 and Fiji’s Meli Malani, whose time was 29.4.
Schulte was visibly shocked when he looked at the time board from the pool after the finals on Thursday.
Schulte came in second in the preliminary round Thursday morning behind Malani.
It's Schulte's second medal in the competition. He won silver in the 100-meter breaststroke in the swimming competition on Wednesday.
The Olympian took first place in the preliminary round Wednesday morning, but was edged out in the final by New Zealand’s Jacob Garrod. Schulte’s time was 1:03.4.
Schulte won several medals at the 2015 Pacific Games held in Papua New Guinea — two golds, a silver and a bronze to lead all of Guam's medal winners.
Schulte will be part of the Guam team going to the Rio Olympics this August. He also represented Guam in the 2012 London Olympics.
Pilar Shimizu, who also represented Guam at the London Olympics, will also join Schulte in Rio.
Five other Guam swimmers are in Fiji competing in the championships. Rachel Lannen, Jagger Stephens, Mineri Gomez, Amanda Poppe and Tommy Imazu are hoping for gold.
Some of them may get qualifying points to compete at the Rio Olympics, head coach Don San Agustin has said.
The Oceania Championships encompasses a good portion of the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, so the competition is stiff.