Pint-Sized Champ Launches to Big-Time

Tania macarthur chronicle campbelltown

                        Tania Fassolis - LA's Regional Gold Medallist

05/12/2006, By Vera Bertola

TANIA Fassolis might only be pint-sized -but she certainly has some grunt when she gets a discus in her hand. The Wilton 10-year-old made her national athletics debut at the Australian All Schools Championships from November 24 to 27 in Cairns.

Armed with wide-eyed enthusiasm, the youngster hit 33.23m to win a silver medal, only 47cm behind the winner.

Fassolis, who attends Picton Public School, backed up with a win as a member of a NSW shot relay team. Her mother, Veronica, said the championship was daunting for a young girl at her first national meet. "It is daunting, because you're up against everyone in Australia," she said. "Tania didn't expect anything; anything can happen on the day."

The young star had a great run in qualifying for nationals, breaking the regional discus record (34.64m) and subsequently finishing second at the NSW titles.

Fassolis, a member of Douglas Park Little Athletic Centre, recently switched to throws Coach David Prior at Camden. Prior's two daughters are national hammer throw champions. "It's a bit early to see what benefits there are with a new coach, as Tania has only been with David for the past few months," Mrs Fassolis said. "But she is very excited and keen to continue her athletics."