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The start of something extraordinary

Swimmers splash out in new National Aquatic Centre

Nearly 650 swimmers from multi world champions to young teens will splash out in the first major competition at the new Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre next week.

The swimmers from 89 clubs who have entered 3705 swims, will contest the New Zealand Short Course Championships at the new facility at AUT Millennium.

With only Emma Robinson listed to return from the current world championships in Russia, the focus will go on most of the swimmers who competed in the recent World University Games. They will be led by North Shore’s Helena Gasson and North Shore’s Laura Quilter who won seven short course titles last year. Robinson (Capital) returns from Kazan in time to compete in the 800m freestyle.

Others to watch include Commonwealth Games representatives Ewan Jackson, Samantha Lee and Samantha Lucie-Smith, and Howick-Pakuranga sprinter Daniel Hunter.

Eight time world champion Mary Fisher (Tawal) leads a strong contingent of Para-Swimmers for the meet. Fisher, last year’s Disabled Sportswoman of the Year, won three gold medals and two silver medals at last month’s IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow.

There is also an array of international talent headed by outstanding Australian teenage prospect Ami Matsuo, who already has a world championship gold medal to her name, and North Shore’s Tabitha Baumann, who is a Canadian international.

To balance out the many young hopefuls are some “old guns” returning to the fray led by the Olympic brothers Dean and Steven Kent, John Gatfield and William Benson.

The championships run from Tuesday until Saturday with heats from 9am and finals from 6pm.

NZ Short Course Championships