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The start of something extraordinary

Howick Pakuranga swimmer a fraction off final

Just 3/100ths of a second stood between Howick Pakuranga swimmer Ewan Jackson and a place in his first international final on day two day of the World University Games in Korea.

Jackson, part of Swimming New Zealand’s high performance squad, finished ninth fastest after setting a new personal best in the semi-finals of the 200m freestyle.

The 22 year old, who set a new personal best of 1:49.58 in the heats, reduced that again to 1:49.14 with an aggressive swim in his semi-final.

Jackson, who studies at AUT, pushed up to second place at the 150m mark in his semi-final but was swamped in the final 20m with China’s Zhiyong Qian edging out the Kiwi by 0.03s for fourth and what proved the final spot in the final.

“I have mixed feelings that I missed out on making the final by such a small margin but on the other hand I’m happy because I improved my best time twice today and you can’t complain about that,” Jackson said.

Jackson qualified at the national championships in 1:49.65 and has now taken half a second off that under interim high performance coach Clive Power.

“I had a change of coach after nationals about 10 weeks ago and I had nothing to compare training to because it is a different style of coaching but I came in here with the mentality to attack races and see what happens.”

He will line up in the heats of the 400m freestyle tomorrow.

“I am looking forward to the 400 which is my main race. To set a PB 10 weeks ago and to better that twice in a short space of time means I am definitely pretty excited about tomorrow morning. “

North Shore’s Laura Quilter had a long way until the final event on the evening programme for her short dash in the final of the women’s 50m butterfly.

The 23 year old finished sixth in 26.85, just a fraction outside the time she set in the semi-final and only 0.4s off the podium in her first final in an international meet.

China’s Ying Lu prevailed in 25.72s from Svetlana Chimrova (RUS) 26.23 and Holly Barratt (AUS) 26.41.

Day three is a busy programme for the New Zealanders with Jackson and Michael Mincham in heats of the 400m freestyle; Shaun Burnett in the 200m butterfly and Alex Peach in the 200m breaststroke. Kate Godfrey has a busy morning in the heats of the 200m individual medley, where she is joined by Helena Gasson, and the 100m backstroke along with Caroline Baddock.

CAPTION: Ewan Jackson in action. (Credit: BW Media).