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The start of something extraordinary

Hunter turns frustration to triumph with world championship qualifier

Howick-Pakuranga swimmer Daniel Hunter turned disappointment into celebration when he met the qualifying mark for the FINA World Short Course Championships today.

Hunter, 22, won the final of the men’s 200m freestyle in 1:45.70 at the New Zealand Short Course Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Auckland. This was around half a second inside the qualifying standard for the world championships.

Earlier this year Hunter missed qualifying for the Rio Olympics by just 4/100th of a second in the 50m freestyle, but the Counties Manukau swimmer said it had only spurred him on.

“It has been a good way to set myself up for a good season. You have to use the frustration to push it and ensure you are on top of your game for the next season and not dropping off,” Hunter said.

Hunter has needed to improve the backend of his key event, the 100m freestyle, with his coach Jana Wilkitzki pushing him to achieve this by lengthening to the 200m freestyle.

“To qualify for the 200m for the world championship is pretty awesome and a lot of pressure off the rest of the week. Now I can just focus on enjoying it which is cool.”

North Shore’s Caroline Baddock, swimming out in lane seven, beat the challenge of rising 15-year-old prospect Chelsey Edwards and clubmate and top qualifier Carina Doyle in the women’s 200m freestyle in 2:00.62. Edwards was just 0.3s behind.

Hokitika’s George Schroder, a member of the Swimming New Zealand high performance centre, took out the men’s 100m breaststroke. The 21 year old was timed at a personal best 1:00.05 which was only 0.6s outside the world championship qualifying time.

Porirua’s Bronagh Ryan converted her top qualifying effort to victory in the women’s 100m breaststroke, with a national record to boot. Ryan held off a charge from Australian Emily Washer to win in 1:07.91 which took 0.2s off the mark held by Natasha Lloyd.

In the battle of the 2008 Beijing Olympians, William Benson (Heretaunga Sundevils) prevailed over Orinoco Fa’amausili-Banse (Roskill) by just 2/100ths of a second in the 50m butterfly, winning in 24.10s.

The women’s 50m butterfly saw New South Wales visitor Emily Washer win in 26.64 with the national title going to Rio Olympian Helena Gasson in 26.81 ahead of United’s Rebekah Bradley.

North Shore’s Wilrich Coetzee was a class above the rest to win the men’s 400m individual medley in 4:15.58 ahead of Hamish Trlin (Capital) and Cameron Blair (Kiwi West).

There was some emerging talent on display in the Para-Swimming which was led by recent national schools star Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker, Manawatu) winning the men’s 50m butterfly and Rio Paralympian Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) who won the women’s 50m butterfly.

The championships, which double as the official qualifier for the FINA World Short Course Championships, continue until Thursday.

Day 1 Results:

Men 200m freestyle: Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 1:45.70 (FINA World Short Course Qualifying time), 1; Michael Mincham (United) 1:48.36, 2; Julian Weir (Aquabladz New Plymouth) 1:48.97, 3.

Women 200m freestyle: Caroline Baddock (North Shore) 2:00.62, 1; Chelsey Edwards (SwimZone) 2:00.97, 2; Carina Doyle (North Shore) 2:01.18, 3.

Men 100m breaststroke: George Schroder (Hokitika) 1:00.05, 1; Erik Kahr (United) 1:00.62, 2; Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 1:00.96, 3.

Women 100m breaststroke: Bronagh Ryan (Porirua City) 1:07.91 (NZ Record), 1; Chloe Francis (Parnell) 1:09.81, 2; Kendall Reidy (Central Hawkes Bay) 1:09.95, 3.

Men 50m butterfly: William Benson (Heretaunga Sundevils) 24.10, 1; Orinoco Fa’amausili Banse (Roskill) 24.12, 2; Andrew Trembath (Neptune) 24.47, 3.

Women 50m butterfly: Helena Gasson (North Shore) 26.81, 1; Rebekah Bradley (United) 27.10, 2; Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 27.47, 3.

Men 400m individual medley: Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 4:15.58, 1; Hamish Trlin (Capital) 4:20.47, 2; Cameron Blair (Kiwi West) 4:24.34, 3.

Para-Swimming Results:

Men 200m freestyle: David Beck (Mt Albert Grammar) 2:17.80, 1; George Adam (North Canterbury) 2:31.60, 2.

Women 200m freestyle: Jane Fox (Orca) 2:46.29, 1.

Men 100m breaststroke: Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 1:24.05, 1; Ieuan Edwards (Selwyn) 1:41.89, 2.

Women 100m breaststroke: Olivia Upston (Parnell) 1:41.65, 1; Ella Benn (Waitaha) 1:47.12, 2.

Men 50m butterfly: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 28.91, 1; Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 30.76, 2; George Adam (North Canterbury) 33.63, 3.

Women 50m butterfly: Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 36.14, 1; Ella Benn (Waitaha) 40.65, 2.

CAPTION: Howick Pakuranga’s Daniel Hunter celebrates his victory in the 200m freestyle at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre, which was inside the qualifying time for the World Short Course Championships. Credit. BW Media.

NZ Short Course Championships