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New Zealand swimmers to take medal lead into final day

New Zealand swimmers shared the spoils with Australia on the penultimate day of pool competition at the Oceania Swimming Championships in Fiji.

The Kiwis will take a nine medal advantage into tomorrow’s final day of pool action at the Damodar National Aquatic Centre in Suva after they both won four gold medals today.

New Zealand has won 16 gold medals and 39 medals overall while Australia has claimed 13 gold medals and 30 in all.

They did not have things their own way on top of the podium today with swimmers from Guam and Cook Islands also claiming victories.

North Shore’s Helena Gasson continued on her winning ways to claim the 100m butterfly in 59.91, which was only one second outside her national record.

There were double victories in the 200m backstroke with North Shore’s Corneille Coetzee claiming the men’s race in 2:03.62 while Auckland’s Annabelle Paterson (United) won the women’s final in 2:16.68.

The other win went to Bronagh Ryan (Porirua City) who took out the 50m breaststroke in 33.52.

There were some close battles with Matamata’s Matt Hyde second in the 400m freestyle in 3:58.29, after leading until the final 30 metres against Westley Robert from the Cook Islands.

The Kiwi women’s team had to settle for second in the 400m freestyle relay by half a second to Australia in 3:49.57, while the men’s team were disqualified while running second to Australia in the men’s freestyle relay.

The other New Zealand medallists today were all from the North Shore club with Jacob Garrod second in the 50m breaststroke in 29.32; Monique King and Carina Doyle were second and third respectively in the 400m freestyle; Wilrich Coetzee was third in the 100m butterfly in 55.08 and Jackson Cropp was runner-up in the 200m backstroke in 2:05.10.

The pool competition finishes on Friday with the 5km Open Water race on Saturday.

CAPTION: Annabelle Paterson in action. Credit BW Media.