Tai-tanic effort: CQ teen takes crossfit career to new level
CROSSFIT: Coach Dan Withers says it's her work ethic that sets Tai Gwynne apart.
The 16-year-old is fast making her mark in the demanding sport of crossfit and Withers knows that's not by chance.
"I've had the pleasure of coaching a lot of really great athletes across a couple of different sports and her work ethic is absolutely second to none,” he said.
"It's all wrapped in a character that's really humble and willing to do whatever they have to in order to succeed.
"She's a pretty special athlete.”
Gwynne has just finished second in Australia and 34th in the world in the 16/17 years division of the Crossfit Open.
She now advances to the online qualifiers at the end of the month, which involves the top 200 athletes from across the globe.
The reward for the top 10 finishers is a berth at the 2019 Crossfit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, in August.
The modest young champion said it was exciting to have achieved such an impressive result.
"It was an online competition over five weeks and every week there was a new workout,” she said.
"Each workout tested a different type of fitness.
"The most challenging workout was probably the first one. It was a combination of wallballs and rowing which isn't a strength of mine.”
Withers said it was a remarkable achievement.
"There are about 3000 people in her age group so to finish in the top one per cent is an incredible feat, particularly given that Tai is the bottom age in this division,” he said.
"The beautiful thing with the online qualifiers is that they can be a little bit more broad now they are catering for the top percentage in the world.
"That means workouts that are more technical and for Tai that's a massive strength.”
Gwynne first tried crossfit about three years ago in a bid to increase her strength for her other sports, which included swimming.
She has been working with Withers at VidaFit Rockhampton for the past 18 months.
"Her progress over that time has just been incredible,” Withers said.
"I think in her first Crossfit Open in the 14/15 years she came in 190th.
"For her to not only move up an age group but then to finish in the top 40 in the world is amazing.”