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The start of something extraordinary

Main impressive in pool

***Orginal story from New Zealand Olympic Committee

Corey Main, one of the big names on the New Zealand swim team, turned in an impressive first-up effort in his 100m backstroke heat today.

Main, 23, made the finals of both backstroke events at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and is regarded as a realistic medal prospect on the Gold Coast.

His time of 54.99s placed him fourth among the 16 qualifiers for tonight’s semi-finals.

Main said he felt very relaxed over the first 50 metres and left himself some work to do on the homeward journey. “It won’t happen tonight. I’ll be ready,” he said.

The fastest qualifier was Australian Mitch Larkin with 54.02s.

Two New Zealanders, Daniel Hunter and Sam Perry, qualified comfortably for the men’s 50m butterfly semi-finals.

Hunter, 23, looked particularly good in turning in a slippery time of 24.01s, the fifth fastest of any of the seven heats. “I’m really happy with that,” he said. “It’s just a shade over my PB and I know I can go faster.”

Perry, 22, looked similarly untroubled in his 24.23s effort, which was a personal best.

The fastest qualifier was South African Chad le Clos, with 23.53s.

Two New Zealanders snuck into tonight’s women’s 100m butterfly semi-finals.

Helena Gasson’s 1min 00.00s placed her 14th of the 16 qualifiers and Georgia Marris cut it even finer. Her 1min 00.43s earned her the 15th qualifying spot.

Australian Madeline Groves was especially sharp in swimming 57.77s and was clearly the fastest qualifier.

Porirua swimmer Bronagh Ryan squeezed into tonight’s women’s 50m breaststroke semi-finals when her heat time of 32.18s proved to be 15th fastest. The fastest qualifier was Englishwoman Sarah Vasey with 30.77s.

In the women’s 200m freestyle Carina Doyle just missed a place in tonight’s final when she recorded the 10th fastest time in the heats.

Doyle struck the fastest heat and was fourth in a time of 2min 00.01s, her personal best.

She said she was disappointed because she had been targeting the elusive 2min barrier. “I really thought this might have been the day,” she said.

Crack Australians Ariarne Titmus (1min 57.02s) and defending champion Emma McKeon (1min 57.40s) were the fastest qualifiers.