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The start of something extraordinary

Fa’amausili on fire, Fisher breaks world record

Super talented teen Gabrielle Fa’amausili showed impressive form as she prepares for this month’s FINA World Junior Championships with back-to-back wins tonight.

The 15 year old junior world champion took out the open women’s 100m individual medley and soon after the 50m freestyle titles at the Swimming New Zealand Short Course Championships at the new Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre at the AUT Millennium.

The stars came out to play on the third night of finals with eight-time IPC Para-Swimming World Champion, Mary Fisher grabbing a second world record.

The stunning 22 year old from the Tawa club clocked 31.68s in the women’s 50m freestyle, which took 0.6s off her own previous world record set in Sydney in 2013.

“I was hoping to PB and because I held the world record it was more exciting last night to get it off someone else,” Fisher said. “But it was a good feeling to get that PB and it’s nice that this competition being in the new pool and just having that sanctioned event where Para-Swimmers can get world records.”

Fisher has completed her programme at the championships and will head back to Wellington but plans a move to Auckland next month for her long term preparations to Rio.

Fa’amausili was locked in a four-way battle in the 100m individual medley, led by titleholder Helena Gasson after the backstroke before the 15 year old took over at the midway point. She extended her advantage to a second from Caroline Baddock after the breaststroke and powered home in 1:01.39, just 15/100ths of a second outside Hayley Palmer’s 2009 national record.

It broke the 15 years age group record, faster than both the current under-16 and under-17 marks and equals Baddock’s 18 years record.

Fa’amausili returned for the next event, the 50m freestyle, hitting the front from Australian visitor Ami Matsuo at the turn and holding on strongly to win in 24.83, which is 44/100ths outside Palmer’s 2009 national record, set in the days of the now banned shiny suits. It is another age group record, and the first time any age group swimmer 18 years or under has gone under the 25 second mark.

North Shore 18 year old Wilrich Coetzee was on the receiving end of two close second placings in finals last night, but tonight his powerful finish proved best in winning the 100m individual medley.

Coetzee was nearly half a second behind United’s Max Polianski after the butterfly leg mid-race but edged ahead in the breaststroke and held off the charge from behind to win in 55.16s.

“It started off a little bit slower but the second 50 really worked together and that was the main idea just focusing on skills really,” Coeteze said. “Last night was kind of disappointing just missing out both times but it feels good to finally win and I’m happy with it.”

Earlier Howick Pakuranga sprinter Daniel Hunter, impressive in the recent World University Games, was all class in winning the men’s 50m freestyle in 21.81s, just 19/100th of a second outside Cameron Simpson’s New Zealand record.

Wellington’s Ben Walsh took out the men’s 200m breaststroke after an excellent three-way battle. Defending champion Jacob Garrod (North Shore) led at the midway mark, before being caught by Walsh at the 150m. Walsh edged clear to win in 2:12.06, just holding off a superb finish from Hokitika’s George Schroder by 13/100ths of a second.

North Shore’s Helena Gasson was back on her winning ways to win the 200m breaststroke in 2:30.56 from Australia’s Cassandra van Breugel, her third national title to date.

Commonwealth Games representative Ewan Jackson, a member of Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance Centre, dominated the men’s 400m freestyle. The Howick Pakuranga swimmer won in 3:46.60, nearly four seconds clear of his nearest rival to add to his 200m freestyle title won on the opening night.

In the other Para-Swimming tonight Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) continued his winning ways taking honours in the 100m individual medley (1:05.95) and 50m freestyle (26.90).

Howick Pakuranga’s Tupou Neiufi was top in the women’s 100m individual medley in 1:20.70 and Matamata’s Taine Morrissey took honours in the men’s 400m freestyle in 5:39.46.

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

Results day 3

Men 100m Individual medley: Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 55.16, 1; Max Polianski (United) 55.59, 2; Donald Cameron (AUS) 56.10, 3.

Women 100m individual medley: Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 1:01.39, 1; Ami Matsuo (AUS) 1:02.21, 2; Caroline Baddock (North Shore) 1:02.30, 3.

Men 50m freestyle: Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 21.81, 1; Sam Perry (St Peters) 22.47, 2; Daniel Gregory-Campbell (United) 22.68, 3.

Women 50m freestyle: Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 24.83, 1; Ami Matsuo (AUS) 25.20, 2; Samantha Lee (Capital) 25.97, 3.

Men 200m breaststroke: Ben Walsh (Capital) 2:12.06, 1; George Schroder (Hokitika) 2:12.19, 2; Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 2:13.07, 3.

Women 200m breaststroke: Helena Gasson (North Shore) 2:30.56, 1; Cassandra van Breugel (AUS) 2:31.82, 2; Caitlin Delany (Tasman) 2:33.69, 3.

Men 400m freestyle: Ewan Jackson (Howick Pakuranga) 3:46.60, 1; Michael Mincham (Waterhole) 3:50.21, 2; Matt Hyde Matamata) 3:53.53, 3.

Para-Swimming Results:

Men 100m individual medley: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 1:05.95, 1.

Women 100m individual medley: Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 1:20.70, 1; Jacquie Ruth (QEII) 2:15.92, 2; Sarah Fuhrer (St Peters) 2:48.91, 3.

Men 50m freestyle: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 26.90, 1; Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 35.69, 2; Taine Morrissey (Matamata) 37.88, 3.

Women 50m freestyle: Mary Fisher (Tawa) 31.68, 1 (World Record); Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 30.79, 2; Olivia Upston (Parnell) 38.38, 3.

Men 400m freestyle: Taine Morrissey (Matamata) 5:39.46, 1.

CAPTION: Gabrielle Fa’amausili in action at the New Zealand Short Course Championships at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre tonight. The image is free for editorial use only. Credit: BW Media.

NZ Short Course Championships