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The start of something extraordinary


Emma Robinson blitzed the field of women’s 800m freestyle final to set a Tokyo Pan Pacific Champs qualification time of 8:35.00s.

Robinson (Capital), 23, from Wellington but based in Brisbane highlight a successful opening day of the 2018 Aon New Zealand Open Championships.

“The support from the crowd was just awesome… I had a plan with my coach to not taper for this event, so it was a fine balance to being able to get the time and be ready for Pan Pacs in a few weeks.”

Robinson is adamant she’s not taking her foot off the pedal just yet, as she’s got more to give in her next event, the women’s 1500m freestyle.

“I still want to hit that time hard, the 1500m at Pan Pacs is a timed final so if I want to get into that final I’m going to have to do a good swim on Friday,” Robinson added.

Hayley McIntosh (Northwave) was second in 8:54.23s and Eve Thomas (Coast) third in 8:56.23s, a new personal best and Junior Pan Pacs selection time.

Earlier in the evening Zac Reid (Aquabladz), 18, showed his class in the men’s 400m freestyle A final to set a qualification time of 3:51.10s for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Reid took an early lead over Lewis Clareburt (Capital) and the rest of the field at the half way mark.

The Taranaki swimmer gunned for the finish with purpose as the crowd gave a rapturous applause as Reid’s time flashed up on the scoreboard.

Michael Pickett (North Shore), 15, was in record breaking form today. Australian based Pickett broke his own 15 years 50m butterfly national age-group record in the morning heats (25.46s) and went below the time again in the evening to set a new bench mark of 25.21s.

Pickett also broke his own 15 years national age-group record in the 100m freestyle (50.69s) as lead off swimmer for North Shore Swimming Club’s men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team.

Howick Pakuranga’s Tyron Henry also broke his own 16 years national age group record in the same race, dipping under 51 seconds for the first time in 50.91s.

Both freestyle times would be under the selection requirement for Junior Pan Pacs and Youth Olympic Games in their individual races.

2018 Commonwealth Games representative Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) was the leading Para swimmer of the opening night, winning two gold medals in the men’s 50m breaststroke and 400m freestyle Para mixed multi-class events.

Other athletes to also achieve selection times for Junior Pan Pacs are: Thomas Watkins (Capital), men’s 200m backstroke, Quinton Hurley (Jasi) men’s 1500m freestyle, Erika Fairweather (Neptune) women’s 800m freestyle and Gina Galloway (United) women’s 200m backstroke.

Finals Results: https://bit.ly/2tTRDLq  
Club Points: https://bit.ly/2IKXurQ

The 2018 Aon NZ Open Championships are being held at the Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre, Auckland, from 2 - 6 July.

Morning sessions start at 10am with evening finals sessions starting at 7pm.