The New Zealand national championships came to a close in Auckland today with no new names added to the list of those who will race in Kiwi colours at the World Championships in Barcelona this summer on the back of FINA 'A' times.
Five swimmers produced 14 performances inside target over six days of racing, world s/c 800m free champion Lauren Boyle, North Shore, the star of the show with a clean sweep of all freestyle events from 100 to 1500m freestyle. The other qualifiers: Capital's Gareth Kean, North Shore’s Glenn Snyders, Matamata’s Matthew Stanley and AquaGym Christchurch junior Sophia Batchelor, 17.
Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance Director, Luis Villanueva, the former head of the Spanish programme in place since January, said: "Our main leading swimmers from the Olympics have all performed strongly this week. That is encouraging given that this is only a few months after London and of course there have been changes that they have had to deal with. Added to that some of the next group of younger swimmers have shown promise of things to come. The key will be the hard work that needs to be done from this point to July’s world championships."
In the last session, Gareth Kean, the Capital charge already on the team after wins in the 50 and 200m backstroke, took the 100m backstroke in 54.69 ahead of a tight tussle for the minor spoils, Paul Benson, Heretaunga Sundevils, next home, on 55.10 at the helm of three others inside 56sec, North Shore's Shaun Burnett third in 55.20.
In the men's 400m medley, Nathan Capp, Greerton, clocked 4:22.50 for gold ahead of Mitchell Donaldson, North Shore, and 17-year-old Bradlee Ashby, Fairfield, on 4:24.60 and 4:24.69. The women's long medley went to Capital's Tash Hind in 4:49.80.
Nielsen Varoy, Roskill, took the men's freestyle dash in 22.98, while Sophia Batchelor claimed the 50m butterfly in 26.30, a time that will grant her access to the fray in Barcelona.