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Triple-Olympian Snyders eyes Rio competition

Olympic veteran Glenn Snyders is looking forward to his favoured event on the opening day of the Rio competition in the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.

Snyders, along with Lauren Boyle, join Dean Kent and Helen Norfolk as the only swimmers to compete in three Olympics.

Kiwis in action on opening day comprise Snyders in the 100m breaststroke, Helena Gasson in the 100m butterfly and Matt Hutchins in the 400m freestyle.

Gold Coast-based Matthew Stanley will bypass the heats of the 400m freestyle to focus on the 100m and 200m freestyle later in the event. The national record holder said that a recent ankle injury has left him shy of the necessary condition to tackle the longest of his three events.

Snyders, who is based in Los Angeles, said that the Olympic experience never fails to inspire.

“Walking from one end of the village to the New Zealand Team base was great. You get to experience that whole atmosphere of what an Olympic Village is like to walk through. To see all the different flags and countries, and catch up with friends I’ve met in the past, it’s an incredible feeling,” he said.

The specialist breaststroker has some clear aims for his Rio 2016 campaign.

“The goal is definitely to go under a minute in the 100m breaststroke. I think that’s going to be the big key. I need to swim the heats fast, head for the showdown in the semifinal and ultimately make that top eight for the final the next day.”

While Snyders is a three-Olympic veteran, it will be a new experience for first timers Gasson and Hutchins.

Gasson, from the North Shore club, wants to go under her own national record of 58.51s in the 100m butterfly and Hutchins, from the Wharenui club in Christchurch but based at the University of Wisconsin, is chasing his previous best of 3:49.84 in the 400m freestyle that he set in the qualifying meet in Canada.

“That is the aim for the whole squad,” said head coach Gary Hurring. “The squad has prepared well at our staging camp and are raring to go.

“The goal is to swim fast in the heats and faster again at night, and to aim at progressing their world ranking.”

CAPTION: Inside the Rio Aquatic Stadium

Rio Olympic