New Zealand’s First World Champion Erika Fairweather Welcomed Home With Haka

Erika Fairweather of New Zealand was welcomed home to the Dunedin International Airport this past week with a lei and a waka from her former high school.

Fairweather arrived back on New Zealand soil and was welcomed with a lei and a kapa haka performed by her former high school Trinity College. Her dog as well as family also greeted her at the airport. See the video of the haka below:

The 20 year old became New Zealand’s first World Champion two weeks ago as she won the women’s 400 freestyle at the 2024 World Championships in Doha. Fairweather touched in a 3:59.44, ahead of China’s Li Bingjie who won silver in a 4:01.62. Fairweather’s win earned her the #10 ranked swim of the meet.

Later in the meet in Doha, Fairweather went on to earn silver in the 200 freestyle and bronze in the 800 freestyle. She also helped the team’s 4×200 freestyle relay set a new national record as well. Fairweather was one of two swimmers from New Zealand to win a World Title as Lewis Clareburt won the men’s 400 IM.

Fairweather has been on a rapid improvement curve recently. This past December, she won the Swammy for Female Breakout Swimmer of the Year. At the 2023 World Championships Fairweather broke the 4:00 barrier in finals of the 400 freestyle, becoming the fifth woman to do so. That earned her a bronze medal. She notably was faster with her win at 2024 Worlds.

See the full video of the welcome home celebration here:

Posted by Trinity Catholic College, Dunedin NZ on Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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1 month ago

Do they just do the haka for everything then

1 month ago

this is so amazing!! congrats to fairweather, and clareburt too!

1 month ago

Sad for the second ever winner…he was two days late!!! 🙂

1 month ago

Danyon Loader

Reply to  Swammer50579
1 month ago

Double Olympic Champion, but never better than silver at Worlds.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

And Sophie Pasco was right there

Fraser Thorpe
Reply to  Bobc
1 month ago

That’s a hell of a resume

Reply to  Bobc
1 month ago

Pascoe is a legend.

Last edited 1 month ago by snailSpace
Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
1 month ago

This is great. Aus and NZ have a bit of a rivalry but it’s all in good fun. Really happy to see NZ get their first gold!

1 month ago

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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