Super Sophie back
By DARREN COYNE
KINGSCLIFF swimming sensation Sophie Edington arrives home tonight and will be out meeting her fans tomorrow at the Kingscliff Shopping Centre between 11.30am and 12.30pm.
With a swag of gold medals from the Commonwealth Games, the 21-year-old has cemented a reputation as one of the rising stars of Australian swimming.
She won the 100m and 50m backstroke events, and then led off the 4x100m medley relay team which smashed the world record.
And her coach Greg Salter yesterday predicted that the women could go even faster.
"It's a little scary. They took 1.4 seconds off the world record and it wasn't even a perfect swim. They can still take more off that mark," Mr Salter said.
"This is an incredible team. There was only one swimmer, Liesel Jones, from the world record team from 2004, the other three were brand new."
Mr Salter will accompany Sophie at the shopping centre tomorrow, but the home visit is only short because they will be off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Monday for a training camp.
The week in Kuala Lumpur is preparation for the World Short Course Championship in Shanghai, China, where Sophie will again compete in the same events that she won Gold in Melbourne.
Kingscliff's Tayliah Zimmer, who scored a bronze in the 50m backstroke, is unable to attend tomorrow because of family reasons.
Organiser of tomorrow's event, Margot Wall, urged everyone who had enjoyed Sophie's efforts at the Commonwealth Games to turn out to show their support.
"I particularly want the kids to come along ... it's not often you would get so close to a champion," Ms Wall said.