Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

Swimmers bag records, world champs qualifying times and near misses

National records, world championship qualifying performances and some agonisingly close calls were the feature of the third night of finals at the New Zealand Short Course Championships at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre in Auckland.

Howick Pakuranga’s Daniel Hunter defended his title in the men’s 50m freestyle in a superb performance at the meet that doubles as the trial for the December’s FINA World Short Course Championships.

His time of 21.52s broke the current New Zealand record of Cameron Simpson by 0.1s, and inside the qualifying time for the world championships, after Hunter met the qualifying standard in the 200m freestyle earlier in the week.

Rio Olympian Helena Gasson (North Shore), who has only been back in the pool a few weeks, took the national title in the women’s 100m individual medley in 1:00.61, which broke the record she set in the morning heats. It was under the old mark set by Hayley Palmer by more than half a second.

She was second in the race to Australian Emily Washer in a battle royal over the final 50m but Gasson’s time was just 4/100ths of a second outside the qualifying time for the short course world championships.

“I’ve just got back in the water and so all I wanted to do was come here and PB, have fun and race at home again,” said Gasson. “I wasn’t ever focussing on the qualifying times.

“To get the New Zealand record is pretty cool. I didn’t know what the qualifying time was until someone told me I was 0.04 off. I just want to keep all the pressure out of the competition and just enjoy it.

“The Games were fun and I learned a lot but a lot of pressure came with it. So it’s good to take a step back and fall back in love with the sport.”

Hokitika’s George Schroder, a member of Swimming New Zealand’s high performance squad, won the men’s 200m breaststroke in a personal best 2:08.71 in a classy display, but like Gasson, was 5/100ths of a second off the world championships qualifying time.

The close calls continued this time for 16 year old star Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) who defended her title in the women’s 50m freestyle in a personal best 24.85s which was just 3/100ths of a second off the qualifying standard. She pipped Gasson with 15 year old Chelsey Edwards (SwimZone, Wellington) impressing in third.

In other swims, Australia’s Cassandra van Breugal won the 200m breaststroke in 2:29.71 with the national title going to Tasman’s Caitlin Delany from Porirua’s Bronagh Ryan, who had won the 50m and 100m breaststroke titles. There was just 0.9s separating the trio in a closely fought race.

United’s Michael Mincham produced an excellent swim to win the 400m freestyle in 3:49.17 from outstanding 16 year old prospect Zac Reid (Aquabladz, Taranaki) and Matthew Scott (Enterprise Gisborne).

The championships continue until Thursday.

Day 3 results

Men 100m individual medley: Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 54.92, 1; Donald Cameron (Aust) 55.90, 2; Luke Bibby (Aust) 56.31, 3.

Women 100m individual medley: Emily Washer (Aust) 1:00.52, 1; Helena Gasson (North Shore) 1:00.00.61, 2 (NZ Record); Chloe Francis (Parnell) 1:02.22, 3.

Men 50m freestyle: Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 21.52, 1 (NZ Record, World Champs Qualifying time); Julian Weir (Aquabladz) 22.32, 2; Eric Kahr (United) 22.52, 3.

Women 50m freestyle: Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 24.85, 1; Gasson 25.46, 2; Chelsey Edwards (SwimZone) 25.79, 3.

Men 200m breaststroke: George Schroder (Hokitika) 2:08.76, 1; Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 2:10.07. 2; Hamish Trlin(Capital) 2:13.55, 3.

Women 200m breaststroke: Cassandra van Breugel (Aust) 2:29.71, 1; Caitlin Delany (Tasman) 2:30.06, 2; Bronagh Ryan (Porirua) 2:30.63, 3.

Men 400m freestyle: Michael Mincham (United) 3:49.17, 1; Zac Reid (Aquabladz) 3:52.66, 2; Matthew Scott (Enterprise) 3:53.24, 3.

Para-Swimming Results:

Men 100m Individual Medley: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 1:07.97, 1; Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 1:15.16, 2; Tama Solouota (Howick Pakuranga) 1:14.27, 3.

Women 100m Individual Medley: Olivia Upston (Parnell) 1:30.95, 1; Ella Benn (Waitaha) 1:28.64, 2; Kate McKelvie (Raumati) 1:47.39, 3.

Men 50m Freestyle: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 26.59, 1; Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 30.53, 2; Tama Solouota (Howick Pakuranga) 28.82, 3.

Women 50m Freestyle: Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 30.18, 1; Ella Benn (Waitaha) 35.53, 2; Olivia Upston (Parnell) 36.25, 3.

CAPTION: North Shore’s Helena Gasson in action during the individual medley at the New Zealand Short Course Championships at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre. Credit BW Media.

NZ Short Course Championships