Meet

2017 SNZ Opens News

Day 5

Youth Brigade impress as freestylers make their mark.

New Zealand has qualified a men’s freestyle relay team for the world championships after all four went under the 50 second barrier to highlight the final night of the New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland.

The championships, that attracted 230 swimmers from 43 clubs, doubled as the trials for the world championships, Youth Commonwealth Games and the World University Games.

Eight swimmers qualified in 10 individual events in the pool, the most individual qualifiers for a decade, while there are two relay teams who met the qualifying standard - the men’s 100m freestyle relay and women’s 4x100m medley relay.

Swimming New Zealand will announce tomorrow the final team for the world championships in Budapest in July, to join Taranaki’s Charlotte Webby who has already been named for open water.

While there were no further individual qualifiers tonight, there was some superb freestyle swimming in both the men and women to cap-off an enterprising and exciting championship with all qualifiers featuring as prospects for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and beyond.

National head Coach Jerry Olszewski said he has been pleasantly surprised at the quality of performances and the attitude of swimmers at his first New Zealand Open Championships.

“Overall the performances have exceeded my expectations. The swimmers within the high performance squad have all moved forward, some significantly,” said Olszewski.

“There are other swimmers that I’ve been following who have really stood up here and there are some that I did not know who have performed well.

“Overall I am really impressed with the attitude. We have been working hard on our culture and I think our swimmers have led the way, working together positively as a team and supporting not only each other but all swimmers.”

Olszewski said the most impressive aspect has been the charge of the youth brigade, with a number of young swimmers going under the qualifying standard.

The men’s 100m freestyle final produced arguably the closest and best standard for some years, after four swimmers went under the 50-second barrier in the morning heats.

It proved a battle between the 50 metre sprinters stepping up against the 200m freestylers coming down.

In the end the 200m freestyle champion Matthew Stanley powered home to win in 49.59s to edge out 50m freestyle winner Daniel Hunter who was second in just 3/100ths of a second behind. Corey Main finished third in 49.72s and together with Sam Perry, who went 49.48 in the morning heats, it means that New Zealand has qualified a team in the 4x100m freestyle relay for the world championships.

“The 100m freestyle is something I have been working on. I would still like to get a fair bit faster in the 100 but I am still learning it. It is like learning a new sport,” said Stanley.

“I knew it would be really close after the morning heats and I guess in the end the endurance in the final 15 metres helped.

“It is really exciting to qualify a relay team. It is something that will really boost the team overall. To have four guys go under 50 seconds is a really good thing for us as a group.”

The exciting future was no better exhibited than the women’s 100m freestyle finals with 17-year-old Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) winning in a personal best 55.89, just 0.1s ahead of 15-year-old Brisbane-based Laticia Transom (Icebreaker, Manawatu) with North Shore’s Carina Doyle third with just 15/100ths of a second separating the trio.

Canterbury’s Matthew Hutchins, on scholarship at the University of Wisconsin, took out the 1500m freestyle final. He pushed to the lead at the 1000m mark and went on to win in 15:30.68 from Michael Mincham (United) and Cook Islands visitor Westley Roberts in a closely fought battle between the trio.

Porirua’s Bronagh Ryan claimed the women’s 50m breaststroke in 32.32 from Ciara Smith (Northwave), while the men’s 50m breaststroke final went to Syrian visitor Azad Al-Barazi in 28.41 with the national title going to Matthew Phillips (Wharenui) in 29.02.

The women’s 1500m freestyle was dominated by Rio Olympian Emma Robinson (Capital) who won emphatically in an impressive 16:30.16, which is nearly seven seconds under the qualifying standard for Budapest, after she met the mark in the 800m freestyle earlier in the meet.

In Para swimming action, Wanaka’s Hamish Mclean claimed the 100m freestyle in 1:14.16 ahead of Chris Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker, Manawatu) and Jesse Reynolds (Fairfield). Reynolds and Arbuthnott went under the qualifying standard for the Commonwealth Games in the 100m backstroke earlier in the meet.

World and Olympic champion Sophie Pascoe also remained unbeaten this week, winning the 100m freestyle in 1:01.43 ahead of Rebecca Dubber (North Shore) and Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga).

There was one Oceania record set by Pascoe and 15 national records while four Para swimmers went under the standard for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Pascoe, Arbuthnott, Reynolds and Olympic gold medallist Nikita Howarth.

The team for the world championships and world university games will be named on Saturday before being presented at the annual Swimming New Zealand Awards function in the evening.

Results:

Men 1500m freestyle: Matthew Hutchins (Wharenui) 15:30.68, 1; Michael Mincham (United) 15:32.00, 2; Wesley Roberts (Cook Islands) 15:33.41, 3, Zac Reid (Aquabladz New Plymouth) 15:36.82, 3.

Women 100m freestyle: Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 55.89, 1; Laticia Transom (Ice Breaker) 55.98, 2; Carina Doyle (North Shore) 56.04, 3.

Men 100m freestyle: Matthew Stanley (Matamata) 49.59, 1; Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 49.62, 2; Corey Main (Howick Pakuranga) 49.72, 3.

Women 50m breaststroke: Bronagh Ryan (Porirua) 32.32, 1; Ciara Smith (Northwave) 32.70, 2; Kaylee Jackson (Jasi) 32.78, 3.

Men 50m breaststroke: Azad Al-Barazi (Syrian Arab Republic), 28.41, 1; Matthew Phillips (Wharenui) 29.02, 1; Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 29.09, 2; Julian Layton (Heretaunga Sundevils) 29.75, 3.

Women 1500m freestyle: Emma Robinson (Capital) 16:30.16, (World Champs Qualifying Time), 1; Hayley McIntosh (Northwave) 16:51.72, 2; Monique King (North Shore) 17:01.98, 3.

Para swimmers:

Men 100m freestyle: Hamish McLean (Wanaka) 1:14.16, 1; Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 1:00.45, 2; Jesse Reynolds (Fairfield) 1:02.26, 3.

Women 100m freestyle: Sophie Pascoe (QEII) 1:01.43, 1; Rebecca Dubber (North Shore) 1:20.58, 2; Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 1:14.63, 3.

Men 50m butterfly: Hamish McLean (Wanaka) 37.06, 1.

Women 50m butterfly: Sophie Pascoe (QEII) 28.45, 1; Melissa Donoghue (Cambridge) 53.32, 2.

Day 4

Four of the best for Gasson, more titles for Fa’amausili, Ashby

Rio Olympian Helena Gasson bagged her fourth title in as many days on the penultimate night of finals at the New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland.

The championships that have attracted 230 swimmers from 43 clubs, double as the trials for the world championships, Youth Commonwealth Games and the World University.

Gasson, fellow Swimming New Zealand high performance squad-mate Bradlee Ashby and 17-year-old Gabrielle Fa’amausili, who have all reached qualifying times for the world championships, secured national titles.

There were no more qualifying swims tonight, with eight swimmers having reached the standard in nine swims, with one further day of competition remaining.

Gasson added the gruelling 400m individual medley honours to the 200m medley and 50m and 100m butterfly wins earlier in the meet.

Having already reached the world championship qualifying mark in the 50m butterfly and 200m individual medley, the Coast club swimmer found the effects of a big campaign a step too far in chasing a third qualifying swim.

The 22 year old streeted the field to win in 4:46.66 which was just over three seconds outside the world championship mark. Gasson was half a length ahead of teenagers Ellie Eastwood (United) and Ruby Matthews (Otumoetai, Tauranga) who filled the other podium spots.

Ashby, who broke his national record in meeting the qualifying mark in the 200m individual medley, produced a brave effort to win the 200m butterfly.

The Fairfield club swimmer came from behind to take charge in the back half of the race, winning in 2:00.19 ahead of top qualifier Shaun Burnett in 2:00.98 and his North Shore clubmate Wilrich Coetzee third in 2:01.52.

Fa’amausili (United club), who qualified in the 50m freestyle, took out the 50m backstroke title, the event in which she won the junior world title. The 17 year old clocked 28.60s to win the final which was just 8/100ths of a second off qualifying for a second world championship event.

The champion over 100m and 200m backstroke, Bobbi Gichard (Howick Pakuranga) was second in 28.89 with Wellington’s Ella Cossill (Capital) third in 29.55s.

US-based North Canterbury swimmer Natasha Lloyd, who won the 200m breaststroke title, made it two titles when she took out the 100m breaststroke crown. She won in 1:10.05 to hold off the challenges from Ciara Smith (Northwave, Whangarei) and Bronagh Ryan (Porirua).

She will chase the clean sweep of national breaststroke titles with the 50m on the final day.

Hokitika’s George Schroder had to fight off a stern test to claim the men’s 100m breaststroke honours, winning in 1:02.31.

He was pipped in the 200m breaststroke final on the second day by Hawkes Bay swimmer Julian Layton, but tonight the Swimming New Zealand high performance squad swimmer held on to win by 0.3s from Syrian visitor Azad Al-Barazi with Layton a further 0.1s behind in third.

Howick Pakuranga’s Bayley Main, who is on scholarship at the University of Florida, won his first open title in claiming the men’s 50m backstroke. In 25.94 ahead of clubmate and 50m freestyle winner Daniel Hunter in 26.07 with talented North Shore teenager Finn Kennard-Campbell third in 26.14.

Taranaki’s Charlotte Webby, who has already qualified for the world championships in open water, came from behind to win the women’s 200m butterfly in 2:18.38.

Rising North Shore teenager Yeonsu Lee made the early charge but was run down in the final 50m with Webby finishing clear of Katlyn Steedman (Ace, Hamilton) 2:21.57 and Vanessa Ouwehand (Te Awamutu) 2:23.58.

In Para swimming action Manawatu teenager Chris Arbuthnott (Icebreaker) impressed to win the 100m butterfly in 1:04.81 ahead of Jesse Reynolds (Fairfield) and Celyn Edwards (Selwyn).

Howick Pakuranga’s Tama Solouota was fastest in the 200m freestyle in 2:19.34 from David Beck (Mt Albert Grammar) and Ethan Sionepulu (St Peters).

Southland’s Jane Fox (Orca club) took out the women’s 200m freestyle in 2:48.88.

Tomorrow’s heats begin at 10am, streamed live on Swimming New Zealand’s website, with finals live on SKY TV from 7pm.

Results:

Women 100m breaststroke: Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury) 1:10.05, 1; Ciara Smith (Northwave) 1:10.52, 2; Bronagh Ryan (Porirua) 1:10.68, 3.

Men 100m breaststroke: George Schroder (Hokitika) 1:02.31, 1; Azad Al-Barazi (Syrian Arab Republic) 1:02.67, 2; Julian Layton (Heretaunga Sundevils) 1:03.59, 2 Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 1:03.29, 3.

Women 50m backstroke: Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 28.60, 1; Bobbi Gichard (Howick Pakuranga) 28.89, 2; Ella Cossill (Capital) 29.55, 3.

Men 50m backstroke: Bayley Main (Howick Pakuranga) 25.94, 1; Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 26.07, 2; Finn Kennard-Campbell (North Shore) 26.14, 3.

Women 400m individual medley: Helena Gasson (Coast) 4:46.66, 1; Ellie Eastwood (United) 5:02.24, 2; Ruby Matthews (Otumoetai) 5:03.34, 3.

Men 200m butterfly: Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield) 2:00.19, 1; Shaun Burnett (North Shore) 2:00.98, 2; Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 2:01.52, 3.

Women 200m butterfly: Charlotte Webby (Aquabladz New Plymouth) 2:18.38, 1; Katlyn Steedman (ACE) 2:21.75, 2; Vanessa Ouwehand (Te Awamutu) 2:23.58, 3.

Para swimmers:

Men 100m butterfly: Chris Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 1:04.81, 1; Jesse Reynolds (Fairfield) 1:05.98, 2; Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 1:08.85, 3.

Men 200m freestyle: David Beck (Mt Albert Grammar) 2:16.88, 1; Tama Solouota (Howick Pakuranga) 2:17.38, 2; Ethan Sionepulu (St Paul’s) 2:42.48, 3.

Women 200m freestyle: Jane Fox (Orca) 2:48.88, 1.

Swimming winners line-up for more success in finals

Three swimmers with national titles in their hands will attempt to add to their successful exploits on the penultimate night of finals at the New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland.

The championships that have attracted 230 swimmers from 43 clubs, double as the trials for the world championships, Youth Commonwealth Games and the World University.

Teenager Gabrielle Fa’amausili and Rio Olympians Helena Gasson and Bradlee Ashby have already set time under the qualifying standard for the world championships in the first three days at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre.

Fa’amausili (United club), who qualified in the 50m freestyle, topped the heats of the 50m backstroke, the event in which she won the junior world title. The 17 year old clocked 28.74s which is only 22/100ths of a second outside the world championship qualifying time.

Gasson, 22, from the Coast club, was fastest in heats of the 400m individual medley in 4:48.26 and will chase the qualifying mark of 4:43.06 in the final. She has already set qualifying times in the 50m butterfly and 200m individual medley.

Ashby, 21, from the Fairfield club, broke his own New Zealand record in bettering the world championship standard in the 200m individual medley last night. He was only third fastest in heats of the 200m butterfly in 2:03.46, headed by North Shore’s Shaun Burnett in 2:02.14, as they chase the qualifying time of 1:57.28.

Taranaki’s Charlotte Webby, who has already qualified for the world championships in open water, topped heats of the women’s 200m butterfly in 2:18.39.

US-based North Canterbury swimmer Natasha Lloyd, who won the 200m breaststroke title, was fastest in heats of the 100m in 1:10.04, with the world champs time of 1:07.58.

Hokitika’s George Schroder topped qualifiers in the men’s 100m breaststroke heats in 1:02.16, while North Shore’s Corneille Coetzee led the heats in the men’s 50m backstroke in 26.17.

Top qualifiers in Para swimming action included in-form teenager Chris Arbuthnott (1:07.21s in 100m butterfly); Howick Pakuranga’s Tama Solouota (2:19.34 in 200m freestyle) and Southland’s Jane Fox (2:48.90 in 200m freestyle).

The finals start from 7pm with competition continuing until Friday. All heats sessions will be streamed live on Swimming New Zealand’s website with finals live on SKY TV.

Day 3

More qualifying times and NZ records at swim championships

Five further qualifying swims for the world championships and two New Zealand records sparked an outstanding third night of finals at the New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland.

It brought the tally to eight swimmers in nine events to qualify for July’s FINA World Championships in Budapest in the championships that double as the trials for the worlds, the Youth Commonwealth Games and the World University Games.

Today saw Waikato’s Sam Perry and Howick Pakuranga’s Daniel Hunter both qualify in the 50m freestyle, believed to be a first for New Zealand swimmers in the same event at a world championship.

Gabrielle Fa’amausili qualified in the heats of the 50m freestyle and won the final, while Rio Olympians Bradlee Ashby and Helena Gasson both qualified in winning their respective finals of the 200m individual medley.

The highlight was a New Zealand record to the 21 year old Ashby in the 200m individual medley after finishing half a second outside the qualifying time for Budapest in the morning heats, where he felt he had gone out too fast.

Tonight he hit the markers throughout, zooming home in 1:59.54, to not only go under the world championship time but also break his own national record by 0.2s in the process, finishing clear of Lewis Clareburt (Capital) and Jonathan Rutter (Roskill).

“The feel from the first 100 going into the breaststroke felt so much better than this morning. Something I have been working on with my coach Jerry (Olszewski) is that back end freestyle with the kick coming in on the way home and the way I controlled it set me up well for it,” said Ashby.

“Yesterday was a big day with a 200m free and a big PB in the 400 medley after several years of not swimming it. So to back-up tonight is incredible. It feels amazing personally to come here and do a PB and to swim fast is very encouraging especially under Jerry’s coaching.”

It was matched by fellow Swimming New Zealand high performance squad member Gasson, who won the women’s 200m individual medley in 2:13.14, pushing home strongly in the freestyle to go under the qualifying time for Budapest by 0.3s. She finished well clear of teenagers Gina McCarthy (Hillcrest) and Mary Tate (United).

“I just gave it everything I had. I didn’t want to leave anything behind. I am so happy to do a qualifying time in an Olympic event,” Gasson said.

“I knew I had to nail the freestyle part of the leg and luckily I managed to hit it how we planned to. It gives me a lot of confidence. I have such a range of events that I can contest in now so I am definitely excited for my future in this sport.”

One of the highlights was the final of the men’s 50m freestyle after Perry from the St Peters club in Cambridge equalled the qualifying time of 22.47 in the morning heats with Hunter just 1/100ths of a second behind.

The lanky Howick Pakuranga swimmer missed out on qualifying for the Rio Olympics by just 4/100ths of a second last year, something that weighed on his mind.

“It is indescribable really,” said Hunter. “I’ve been feeling sick all day as last year was going through my mind constantly. To knock it off and tick the box is awesome. It wasn’t my best time but I think this swim here was about qualifying.”

Hunter won the final in 22.39 to be 8/100ths of a second inside the qualifying time, edging out Perry (22.69) and Julian Weir (Aquabladz) 23.16.

“I was relieved to make the time this morning but gutted for Dan and so I was really pleased he got the job done tonight,” said Perry who has only just returned from competing in the for Stanford University at the NCAA Championships, run over the short course in yards.

“It is always challenging going from the bathtub to the big pool. I am really happy to have been able to hold it together and happy to get another chance to do it at the world champs and hopefully we will both be in even better form there.”

Cantabrian Matthew Hutchins, who is based on scholarship at the University of Wisconsin, took out the men’s 800m freestyle in 7:56.93 which broke the New Zealand record set by Nathan Capp by 0.7s but he was two seconds outside the qualifying time for the world championships.

In other swims, Emma Robinson, who qualified in the 800m freestyle on the opening night, added the 400m freestyle title in 4:12:61 ahead of impressive 17-year-old Hayley McIntosh (Northwave) and US-based Georgia Marris (United).

It proved a busy night for 17 year old Fa’amausili (United), who won the 50m freestyle in 25.26, after clocking 25.02 in the morning heat which was not only under the world championship mark but only 1/100th of a second off the national record.

She returned to renew her clash with fellow teenage star Bobbi Gichard (United) in the 100m backstroke, with both swimmers claiming medals in world junior events.

They turned together but Gichard finished the stronger to win in 1:01.45 with Fa’amausili 0.4s behind in second, both outside the qualifying mark of 1:00.61.

In Para-Swimming action multi- World and Olympic champion Sophie Pascoe continued on her impressive form after just returning to the pool last month to win the 50m freestyle in 28.35.

Manawatu’s Chris Arbuthnott (Icebreaker) has been a standout this week, tonight winning the men’s 50m freestyle in 27.63 as well as the 200m individual medley in 2:30.07.

Paralympic gold medallist Nikita Howarth was best in the 200m individual medley in 3:02.62, the event that she won in Rio.

The finals start from 7pm with competition continuing until Friday. All heats sessions (from 10am) will be streamed live on Swimming New Zealand’s website with finals live on SKY TV.

Results:

Women 400m freestyle: Emma Robinson (Capital) 4:12.61, 1; Hayley McIntosh (Northwave) 4:14.60, 2; Georgia Marris (United) 4:18.80.

Men 200m individual medley: Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield) 1:59.54 (World Champs Qualifying time, NZ record), 1; Lewis Clareburt (Capital) 2:04.30, 2; Jonathan Rutter (Roskill) 2:04.52, 3.

Women 200m individual medley: Helena Gasson (Coast) 2:13.14 (World Champs Qualifying time), Gina McCarthy (Hillcrest) 2:21.25, 2; Mary Tate (United) 2:23.31, 3.

Men 50m freestyle: Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 22.39 (World Champs Qualifying time), 1; Sam Perry (St Peter’s) 22.69, 2; Julian Weir (Aquabladz New Plymouth) 23.16, 3.

Women 50m freestyle: Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 25.26, 1; LT Transom (Ice Breaker) 26.05, 2; Madie Falconer (United) 26.38, 3.

Men 100m backstroke: Corey Main (Howick Pakuranga) 54.40, 1; Corneille Coetzee (North Shore) 55.73, 2; Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 55.92, 3.

Women 100m backstroke: Bobbi Gichard (Howick Pakuranga) 1:01.45, 1; Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 1:01.84, 2. Gina Galloway (United) 1:02.85, 3.

Men 800m freestyle: Matthew Hutchins (Wharenui) 7:56.93 (NZ Record), 1; Zac Reid (Aquabladz New Plymouth) 8:16.62, 2; Matt Scott (Enterprise) 8:20.22, 3.

Para swimmers:

Men 50m freestyle: Chris Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 27.63, 1; Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 30.80, 2; Ieuan Edwards (Selwyn) 32.77, 3.

Women 50m freestyle: Sophie Pascoe (QEII) 28.35, 1; Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 31.91, 2; Rebecca Dubber (North Shore) 38.55, 3.

Men 200m individual medley: Chris Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 2:30.07, 1; Hamish McLean (Wanaka) 3:00.26, 2; David Beck (Mt Albert Grammar) 2:39.05, 3.

Women 200m individual medley: Nikita Howarth (Te Awamutu) 3:02.62, 1; Melissa Donoghue (Cambridge) 4:38.41, 2.

Two rising stars better standard for world championships

Two rising stars have booked spots for the world championships after reaching qualifying times on the third morning of heats at the New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland.

Sam Perry from the St Peters club in Waikato and Gabrielle Fa’amausili from Auckland’s United club went under the qualifying times in heats at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre.

This adds to the four swimmers who had qualified on the first two days at the championships which double as the trials for the world championships, Youth Commonwealth Games and the World University Games.

Perry, 21, who is a junior on scholarship at Stanford University near San Francisco, equalled the qualifying time in the 50m freestyle. He won his heat in 22.47 to equal the qualifying standard while world short course representative Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) was just 1/100th of a second slower in 22.48s but has a chance to go under that time in what promises to be an exciting final tonight.

The 17-year-old Fa’amausili, the world junior backstroke champion, showed her talents in freestyle to clock 25.02s in heats of the women’s 50m freestyle. This was 16/100ths of a second under the qualifying time for Budapest, and only 1/100th of a second outside the New Zealand record.

There were three other close efforts this morning in the 200m individual medley by Rio Olympians Bradlee Ashby and Helena Gasson, who both swim in Swimming New Zealand’s high performance squad.

Ashby, 21 (Fairfield club) topped qualifiers in 2:00.62 which is only 0.4s outside the qualifying mark and closing in on his national record.

Gasson, 21 (Coast club) was fastest in the women in 2:13.99, which is only half a second outside the qualifying mark.

Florida-based Corey Main, who qualified in the 200m backstroke on the opening night, was fastest in heats of the 100m backstroke in 54.13s which is only 7/100ths of a second outside the time for Budapest.

Former Youth Olympic medallist Bobbi Gichard (17, Howick Pakuranga) topped qualifiers in the 100m backstroke in 1:01.21 ahead of Fa’amausili. The world championship qualifying mark is 1:00.61.

Meanwhile Emma Robinson, who qualified in the 800m on the opening night, was fastest in the 400m freestyle in 4:17.67.

Top qualifiers in Para-Swimming action included multi- World and Olympic champion Sophie Pascoe (28.97s in 50m freestyle); Chris Arbuthnott (27.79s in 50m freestyle and 2:29.96 in 200m individual medley); and Nikita Howarth (3:03.33 in 200m individual medley)

The finals start from 7pm with competition continuing until Friday.

All heats sessions will be streamed live on Swimming New Zealand’s website with finals live on SKY TV.

Day 2

Stanley qualifies for swimming world championships

Rio Olympian Matthew Stanley booked his ticket for July’s FINA World Championships with a qualifying performance on the second day of the New Zealand Open Swimming Championships in Auckland.

This makes four swimmers to qualify for July’s world championships in Budapest after two days, after Helena Gasson, Corey Main and Emma Robinson qualified on the first night of finals.

Stanley, based on the Gold Coast at the Bond Swimming Club, clocked 1:47.55 in the 200m freestyle to go 0.2s inside the qualifying time for the July’s FINA World Championships in Budapest in the morning heats.

The 25 year old, swimming for the Matamata club, wanted to lower his own national record in the evening but had to be content with a dead-heat with Rio team-mate Matthew Hutchins in 1:48.53.

“This morning was a race well put together but I couldn’t replicate it tonight,” Stanley said. “I couldn’t really get up tonight. I am not sure if after I qualified in the morning I found it tough to back-up without having the rabbit to chase. It is something I need to work at.”

Stanley recently moved to a new programme at Bond University which includes a number of crack Australian swimmers.

“We have a lot of guys who are really good at 100m and 200m freestyle. Training with them every day is motivating and I am sure that backing up will come to be shortly,” Stanley said.

“I have been training better than that, in the 1:46 mid range area. I am still struggling to convert that into the racing form but I am confident it will come. I just have a few things to work on.”

It was another close miss for Hutchins, the Christchurch swimmer based at the University of Wisconsin, who will look to his favoured 1500m freestyle later in the week to qualify for the worlds.

Visitor Wesley Roberts from Cook Islands was third with 17-year-old Zac Reid from the Aquabladz club in Taranaki claiming the bronze medal.

Olympian Bradlee Ashby set a personal best but just 0.8s outside the qualifying mark for the 400m individual medley, clocking 4:18:68.

Ashby, the 200m individual medley record holder, was under the qualifying time and New Zealand record for 300m but faded slightly with a 1:01.67 split for the 100m freestyle leg to finish just outside the mark but a significant personal best.

He finished clear of talented Wellington teenager Lewis Clareburt and Dunedin’s Andrew Trembath.

Gasson could not replicate her hot form on the first night, finishing just outside the qualifying mark in the women’s 100m butterfly.

She won impressively in 59.43, which was a second outside the qualifying time, but she was well clear of medallists Yeonsu Lee (North Shore) and Georgia Marris (United).

The men’s 100m butterfly was a tight battle with St Peters’ swimmer Sam Perry, who is on scholarship at Stanford University, setting the pace and holding on to win in 53.97s just ahead of the North Shore pair of Wilrich Coetzee and Shaun Burnett.

North Shore’s Carina Doyle, the top qualifier, took out the women’s 200m freestyle in 2:00.98 in a well judged race. The top qualifier edged out US-based Marris, returning to the sport after injury, with Whangarei’s Hayley McIntosh, a member of Swimming New Zealand high performance squad, in third.

Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury) won the women’s 200m breaststroke in impressive fashion, clearing out to retain the title in 2:31:74, clear of Ciara Smith (Northwave) and Julia Borlaise(Karori Pirates).

The men’s race proved a close fought affair with Hokitika’s George Schroder, who swims in Swimming New Zealand’s high performance squad, pipped in the final 15m by Hawkes Bay swimmer Julian Layton. Layton won 2:12.80 with Schroder second in 2:13.41 and Jacob Garrod (North Shore) third.

In the Para swimming tonight Sophie Pascoe (QEII) won the 50m breaststroke in 35.87 while Nikita Howarth (Te Awamutu) claimed gold in the 100m backstroke in 1:29.73 and Chris Arbuthnott edged ahead of Jesse Reynolds (Ice Breaker) in the men’s 100m backstroke to win in 1:07.36. 

The heats begin daily at 10am and the finals from 7pm. All heats sessions will be streamed live on Swimming New Zealand’s website with finals live on SKY TV.

Results, day 2:

Men 200m freestyle: Matthew Stanley (Matamata) & Matthew Hutchins (Wharenui) 1:48.53, 1 equal; Wesley Roberts (Cook Islands) 1:51.49, 3; Zac Reid (Aquabladz New Plymouth) 1:52.17, 3.

Women 200m freestyle: Carina Doyle (North Shore) 2:00.98, 1; Georgia Marris (United) 2:01.44, 2; Hayley McIntosh (Northwave) 2:02.92, 3.

Men 400m individual medley: Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield) 4:18.68, 1; Lewis Clareburt (Capital) 4:21.05, 2; Andrew Trembath (Neptune) 4:28.60, 3.

Women 200m breaststroke: Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury) 2:31.74, 1; Ciara Smith (Northwave) 2:36.15, 2; Julia Borlase 2:38.68, 3.

Men 200m breaststroke: Julian Layton (Heretaunga Sundevils) 2:12.80, 1; George Schroder (Hokitika) 2:13.41, 2; Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 2:15.48, 3.

Women 100m butterfly: Helena Gasson (Coast) 59.43, 1; Yeonsu Lee (North Shore) 1:01.24, 2; Georgia Marris (United) 1:01.44, 3.

Men 100m butterfly: Sam Perry (St Peter’s) 53.97, 1; Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 54.22, 2; Shaun Burnett (North Shore) 54.71, 3.

Para swimmers:

Men 100m backstroke: Chris Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 1:07.36, 1; Jesse Reynold (Fairfield) 1:07.42, 2; David Beck (Mt Albert Grammar) 1:11.30, 3.

Women 100m backstroke: Nikita Howarth (Te Awamutu) 1:29.73, 1; Rebecca Dubber (North Shore) 1:30.24, 2; Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 1:17.38, 3.

Women 50m breaststroke: Sophie Pascoe (QEII) 35.87, 1.

Day 1

Stanley bags morning qualifying swim for world championships

Rio Olympian Matt Stanley has gone under the qualifying standard for the world championships with an impressive performance on the second morning of heats at the New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland.

Stanley, who is based on the Gold Coast, clocked 1:47.55 which is 0.2s inside the qualifying time for the July’s FINA World Championships in Budapest.

The 25 year old, swimming for the Matamata club, impressed with a strong swim in heats of the 400m freestyle yesterday that set him up for an excellent morning which was only 0.46s outside his New Zealand record.

He finished ahead of fellow Olympic teammates Matthew Hutchins and Corey Main.

This follows three swimmers who qualified on the opening day in Helena Gasson, Main and Emma Robinson at the championships which double as the trials for the world championships, Youth Commonwealth Games and the World University games the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre.

In other heat swims, North Shore’s Carina Doyle topped times in the women’s 200m freestyle in 2:01.71 while Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield) was fastest in the 400m individual medley in 4:29.01.

Leading breaststrokers over 200m were US-based Natasha Lloyd from North Canterbury (2:32.43) and George Schroder from Hokitika (2:14.60).

Gasson set herself for a crack at qualifying for a second event after finishing fastest in heats of the 100m butterfly in 59.18, and will need to break her own national record to reach the mark of 58.48 in tonight’s final.

Wilrich Coetzee from North Shore was fastest in the men’s 100m butterfly in 54.81.

The heats begin daily at 10am and the finals from 7pm. All heats sessions will be streamed live on Swimming New Zealand’s website with finals live on SKY TV.




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