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The start of something extraordinary

2021 Apollo Projects Short Course Championships


17 - 21 August 2021

The 2021 Apollo Projects Short Course Championships kicks off today at the Sir Owen Glenn National Aquatic Centre in Auckland. Held across five days from 17 – 21 August 2021, this event will see the best athletes from around the country battle it out to the title of national champion. The event will also serve as a selection meet for the 2021 FINA World Short Course Championships to be held in Abu Dhabi in December.
The event has an incredible 766 athletes competing, making it the second-ever biggest swimming event that has been run by Swimming New Zealand. Last year’s numbers were considerably lower due to the event being impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. The 2020 NZ Short Course was rescheduled from its original dates in Auckland and instead moved to Hamilton.

Helena Gasson from Coast Swim Club dominated at the 2019 Short Course Championships, breaking a total of six New Zealand Short Course Open Records in the Women’s 100m IM, 200m IM, 100m Butterfly and 200m Butterfly. Last year in 2020, Gasson focused instead on the 2020 International Swim League (ISL) and broke an outstanding eleven NZ SC Open Records. Helena is back this year before she heads off on another ISL tour next month and she is sure to bring back the bang!

Another athlete to keep an eye on this year will be backstroke swimmer, Andrew Jeffcoat from Pukekohe Swim Club. Missing from the Short Course lineup last year due to Covid, he didn’t fall short on his performance at the 2020 North Shore Invitational, which ran alongside Short Course last year. Jeffcoat broke four NZ SC Open Records at the meet and will be looking to top that this year! He is the current holder for all backstroke SC Records, the 50m, 100m and 200m distances.

A total of 20 para swimmers will compete at Short Course, many of them hold current NZ Para SC Records and will look to break them this week. The youngest to compete is 13-year-old Erin Knox from Swim Zone Racing. Jane Fox and David Beck are current holders of the S14 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m Freestyle events, so we look forward to watching them both swim and try to beat their own records.

Melissa Cowen from North Shore Swim Club holds the current NZ SC Open record in the 100m Breaststroke. Cowen will be looking to take back the NZ SC Open Record in the 200m Breaststroke event. After breaking the record last year, her success was shortly trumped by Brearna Crawford who swam 0.1 seconds faster, breaking a new record. Crawford will not be present at this year’s event as she has travelled to the US to study at Indiana University.

There are some top age-group swimmers amongst the athletes this year. North Shore’s Cameron Gray and Taiko Taiko Torpe-Ormsby from Wharenui Swim Club, both 18 years old, are always great competition to watch! Taiko most recently broke a record in the Men’s 50m Freestyle, which was standing for over 13 years.

17-year-old Laura Littlejohn from St Paul’s Swim Club is swimming in several events and distances in freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and individual medley. Also 17, Capital’s Sam Brown is the top seed in the Men’s 400 IM. The record for this event is held by Olympian Dean Kent from 2003 when he swam 4:06.66 at the FINA World Cup in Berlin. Dean is actually swimming this year, in the 50m Breaststroke. Brother and also Olympian, Steve Kent is also competing in the 100m and 200m Freestyle events.