Erika Fairweather’s medal haul just got bigger

Erika Fairweather (Ngāi Tahu) has claimed a third medal at the World Swimming Championships in Doha to complete an outstanding competition for the Dunedin 20-year-old.

Fairweather won bronze in the women’s 800m freestyle in a time of 8:22.26, adding to her historic freestyle gold in the 400m and silver in the 200m.

She led at the halfway mark but was unable to hold out gold medalist Simona Quadarella of Italy in the final stretch and Germany’s Isabel Gose who took silver.

Earlier this week, Fairweather became the first New Zealander to secure a gold medal in a long course swimming world championship, marking the occasion with a celebratory fist pump.

Fairweather has qualified for July’s Paris Olympic Games in her favoured 400m freestyle and met the qualification mark for the 200m freestyle in her Doha semi-final.

She was 17 years old at her first Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, where she qualified fourth-fastest for the women’s 400m freestyle final, eventually placing eighth.

The Doha championships were missing many of the world’s top swimmers who stayed away to focus on Paris.