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The start of something extraordinary

Pascoe qualifies again, showdown looms for sprinters

There will be a showdown of the sprinters on the final night of the New Zealand Open Swimming Championships in Henderson.

Backstroke specialist Corey Main led qualifiers in the 100m freestyle heats at the West Wave Aquatic Centre this morning, timed at a PB 50.00.

The depth in this category was apparent with five swimmers in the 50 second range, with the hope that some will go under that barrier in the final tonight.

Main headed US-based Waikato swimmer Sam Perry (50.23) and 50m freestyle winner Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 50.55.

Canterbury’s Sophia Batchelor topped heats in the 200m backstroke in 2:15.85 with inform Waikato swimmer Helena Gasson (Fairfield) fastest in heats of the 400m individual medley in 4:53.64.

The flying Sophie Pascoe added yet another qualifying performance for the upcoming IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow.

She clocked 28.84 in heats of the 50m freestyle which was inside the qualifying mark of 29.70s, her fifth event secured.

Tonight’s focus goes on the women’s 50m freestyle, where fastest qualifier, 15 year old Gabrielle Fa’amausili was 0.4s outside the development qualifying time for the world championships.

There is real interest at the other end of the spectrum where Tauranga’s Nathan Capp, already qualified in the 400m individual medley, is chasing qualification in the 1500m freestyle, where he will need to beat his own national record to reach the world’s mark of 15:13:98.

In other heat swims today North Shore’s Corneille Coetzee was fastest in the 50m backstroke in 26.58 from Australian visitor Daniel Blackborrow, while North Canterbury’s US-based Natasha Lloyd topped qualifiers in the 50m breaststroke heats in 32.92, the only swimmer under the 33 second mark.

Tonight’s finals session starts at 7pm.

CAPTION: Fairfield’s Helena Gasson in action on her way to topping qualifiers in the 400m individual medley today.

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

NZ Open Championships