The usual nicknames for good swimmers are normally related to fish, sharks or other animals of the sea.
Rory Thornhill is a very good swimmer, but until they find a fish that can ride a bike, aquatic nicknames will have to wait, because unlike fish, Thornhill is good at riding a bike and at running.
He combined those three talents to take home gold at the Intermediate Boys division at the School Sport Australia Triathlon Championships late last week, and a silver medal in the teams event.
The intermediate involved a 650 metre swim, a 4 kilometre run and a 15km bike ride, which he did in just over 40 minutes.
The team event, which was two boys and two girls from each state, involved a 300m swim, 5km ride and 1.5km run, which was aggregated to decide places.
The team event was taken out by Queensland, who had a strong showing at the championships, coming in second, third and fourth behind Thornhill in his Intermediate event.
Thornhill has been involved in triathlon for three years, and has been swimming for close to 10.
“I came from a swimming background and just getting into that swimming and running, and it’s the variety of different activities which keeps me going,” he said.
“My strongest leg is the swim but even in Orange the cycling feel about and the community has a good feel about it, a good interconnected-ness.”
He said while he doesn’t do a huge amount of cycling, he does get involved with the other two sports.
“Not so much cycling but definitely swimming and running, especially with cross-country season coming up,” he said.
“Triathlons are pretty much finished when I’ll go to age group world championships [in September], which I qualified to separately to this event, and there was a qualifying series I went to.”
The world championships will be held on the Gold Coast, and there’s a strong family tie to athletics.
“Dad swimming, mum came from an Athletics background, can’t remember of the top of my head but her and my aunty got quite far in the 90 metre hurdles in the European carnivals.