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The start of something extraordinary

Mission accomplished for Snyders chasing third Olympics

It was mission accomplished for Glenn Snyders as he successfully banked the Olympic nomination time in the heats of the men's 100m breaststroke during the penultimate morning session of the 2016 New Zealand Open Swimming Championships in Auckland.

Seeking a third successive Olympic appearance, the 28-year-old Los Angeles-based swimmer covered the two lengths of the pool at the Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre in a time of 1:00.36 to crack the qualification mark by 0.21.

Snyders will be hoping to swim quicker and potentially smash through the magic one-minute barrier in tonight's final, where victory will ensure the North Shore Club swimmer will complete the full trifecta of breaststroke titles this week having earlier snared both the 50m and 200m crowns. His national record of 59.78 was set at the 2012 London Olympics.

There was an element of frustration for rising 16-year-old duo Bobbi Gichard and Gabrielle Fa'amausili as the pair fell short of the Olympic nomination standard of 1:00.25 in the heats of the 100m backstroke. Gichard (Howick Pakuranga), the Youth Olympic bronze medallist, stopped the clock in 1:00.82 to finish 0.35 clear of Fa'amausili (United) who is the Junior World Champion over 50m backstroke. Both will return tonight for a second attempt at the Olympic qualification mark in tonight's final.

Matt Stanley will also have to wait for tonight's final to mount another assault on the Olympic nomination time of 3:50.40 in the men's 400m freestyle. The Matamata swimmer, who achieved the Rio standard in the heats of the men's 200m freestyle earlier in the week, advanced quickest to the final but was more than three seconds shy of his target time recording 3:53.96 – 0.89 quicker than second fastest qualifier Ewan Jackson of Howick Pakuranga.

Elsewhere, Corneille Coetzee (55.88) edged his younger brother Wilrich (56.03) as the North Shore Swim Club siblings topped the qualifiers from the heats of the men's 100m backstroke.

Bronagh Ryan of the Porirua City Aquatics club was the swiftest qualifier in the women's 100m breaststroke, finishing almost two seconds clear of the next quickest Kendall Reidy (Central Hawkes Bay).

In the non-Olympic events, Helena Gasson continued her outstanding meet by heading the qualifiers into tonight's final of the women's 50m butterfly. Gasson, who yesterday achieved the Olympic qualification standard in the 100m butterfly, clocked a time of 26.83 in the one-length tear up - 0.38 clear of her North Shore club-mate Laura Quilter, who advanced second quickest. Speed king Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga), who yesterday blitzed to the national record in the men's 50m freestyle, progressed into tonight's final of the men's 50m butterfly with a fastest time of 24.27.

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