Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

Boyle, Para-Swimmers beat qualifying on opening day

Lauren Boyle lit up the opening morning session of the 2015 New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland to produce the ninth fastest women's 400m freestyle time in the world this year and comfortably bank the World Championships qualification mark.

New Zealand’s leading Para-Swimmers blitzed their qualifying standard during heats this morning with swimmers qualifying in six events for their world championships in July, comprising Nikita Howarth, Sophie Pascoe, Mary Fisher and Rebecca Dubber.

Boyle, the 2013 World bronze medallist and Commonwealth champion for the distance, backed up her outstanding swim at the recent Australian Championships to secure a comfortable heat win in 4:06.25 – more than six seconds below the standard for Kazan.

US-based Matt Hutchins looks poised to make a serious bid to secure the World Championships standard in tonight's final of the men's 400m freestyle at the West Wave Aquatic Centre after topping the morning qualifiers in 3:50.93.

The 20-year-old of the Wharenui club led from the outset of heat four to claim an eye-catching victory in 3:50.93 – within 0.06 of the Kazan qualification mark – from his more experienced rival Matt Stanley (3:53.81).

Pascoe, from the QEII club, the multi World and Paralympic champion, qualified in the S10 100m butterfly (1:04.88) and 2:28:73 in the 200m individual medley; Fisher (Capital) went 5:33:17 in the S11 400m freestyle and 2:59:62 in the 200m individual medley; Dubber (North Shore) clocked 5:35:88 in the S7 class of the same event and Howarth (Te Awamutu) clocked 3:03.57 in the S7 200m individual medley.

Another swimmer seeking to grab his World Championship opportunity in tonight's final is Aucklander Corey Main who produced an accomplished swim in the heats of men's 100m backstroke to stop the clock in 54.78.

The US-based Main, a 2014 Commonwealth Games finalist, will fancy his chance of achieving the goal in tonight's action packed first session of finals.

As expected New Zealand record holder Glenn Snyders comfortably headed the qualifiers in the men's 100m breaststroke. The US-based Snyders cruised to victory in heat four stopping the clock in 1:00.71 – within 0.27 of the World Championships qualification mark.

Elsewhere, Samantha Lee of the Capital Swim Club topped the qualifiers for the final of the women's butterfly recording a time of 1:00.85. US-based Natasha Lloyd of North Canterbury was the fastest heat swimmer ahead of tonight's women's 100m breaststroke final in 1:10.76.

In the men's and women's 200m individual medley – Mitchell Donaldson (2:02.47) and Helena Gasson (2:19.08), respectively, were the fastest heat swimmers. Gasson (Fairfield) had a busy morning after earlier qualifying second quickest in the women's 100m butterfly.

Tonight’s finals session starts at 7pm.

CAPTION: Lauren Boyle in action during the 400m freestyle heats today.

The image is free for editorial use. Credit: BW Media

NZ Open Championships