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MIT lecturer rides the international crest of succ

Thursday, 5 October 2006

MIT lecturer rides the international crest of success

Riding high on her success at an Australasian bodyboarding competition last week, Manukau Institute of Technology lecturer Mihi Wells is confident of another excellent feat at this month’s World Surfing Games.

Mihi came second in the Masters division and reached the semi-finals of the Open Women’s and Professional Women’s divisions at the Human Australasian Bodyboard Titles in Port Macquarie, New South Wales from 23 to 30 September.

These results have steeled Mihi’s resolve to push her limits at the world games at Huntington Beach, California from 14 to 22 October. She is competing as a member of the 10-strong New Zealand Surfing Team at the bi-annual World Surfing Games.

“There is going to be some tough competition, such as professional world champion Kira Llewellyn of Australia. The chance of coming first is slim, but not impossible. Realistically, I expect to reach the semi-finals,” says Mihi, an Otara resident and senior lecturer and academic advisor at the MIT School of Sport.

This is the third time Mihi is taking part in the event after debuting at Huntington Beach in 1996 and competing again in 2004 in Ecuador, where she came 11th overall out of around 35 contestants in the women’s bodyboarding category.

But Mihi feels better prepared for this year’s contest. “My build-up for the games has been good. I have had a lot of competition experience and know what I need to do to advance to the finals.”

Over the last two years, Mihi has competed in several competitions and was ranked the world’s number one amateur women’s bodyboarder following the International Bodyboarders Association’s Women’s World Tour, last year.

She has also been training hard at the Otara Leisure Centre, Vibra-Train in Botany, and of course Piha.

However, Mihi has one more obstacle to overcome – she is still recovering from knee reconstruction surgery, although this did not prevent her from winning the second placing at the Australasian Bodyboard Titles, or coming fifth in the Open Women’s division and seventh in the Professional Women’s division.

“These results are pretty good considering my repertoire of manoeuvres was limited and I couldn’t do the 360-degree spin.”

Nevertheless, Mihi is confident that her knee would have healed enough to enable her to blow the competition and the judges out of the water at the games!


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