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The start of something extraordinary

Young guns take aim at stars, Fisher breaks world record

Youth have laid down the challenge to the stars on the third morning of heats at the New Zealand Short Course Swimming Championships in Wellington today.

Eighteen-year-old Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield), a multi-medallist at last week’s Junior Pan pacific Championships in Hawaii, returned to top qualifiers in the men’s 100m individual medley. His heat time of 55.92 bettered that of Commonwealth Games swimmer Mitchell Donaldson (North Shore) 56.39s.

Fourteen-year-old Youth Olympic medallist Gabrielle Fa’amausili (Roskill) was fastest in heats of the 50m freestyle in 25.46s. Hokitika’s George Schroder, 18, another to shine at the Junior Pan Pacs, was fastest in heats of the 200m breaststroke in 2:13.05 ahead of Youth Olympic Games teen Jacob Garrod (North Shore) who was second fastest in 2:15.14.

The highlight of the morning was a second World Record to outstanding Para-Swimming star Mary Fisher. The Capital swimmer bettered her world record to be fastest in heats of the 50m freestyle in 31.39s.

In other heat swims Fairfield’s Helena Gasson, in strong form this week, was fastest in the 100m individual medley in 1:03.50; Nielsen Varoy (West Auckland) 22.29s edged Howick Pakuranga’s Daniel Hunter (22.50) in heats of the 50m freestyle and Mille MacDonald (Parnell) topped the women’s 200m breaststroke heats in 2:32.79.

Greerton’s Nathan Capp, chasing world championship qualification in the 1500m, was heartened with his effort to top qualifiers in the 400m freestyle in 3:50.13, ahead of Commonwealth Games reps Ewan Jackson (Howick Pakuranga) 3:53.12 and Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (Coast) 3:53.83 with Matthew Stanley (Matamata) back in seventh fastest.

The finals begin at 6pm with the championships continuing until Saturday.

NZ Short Course Championships