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Kiwi World Junior Champion Swimmer Leads The Way

Defending world junior champion Gabrielle Fa’amausili will head a team of five swimmers to compete in Singapore after qualifying for the FINA World Junior Championships in Wellington this week.

The 2015 Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Group Championships at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre doubled as the official trial for swimmers to gain selection for the biennial World Junior Championships in Singapore and the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.

Fa’amausili (Roskill, Auckland) claimed honours in the 50m backstroke event tonight, the event in which she will defend her world championship title later this year.

Fellow 15-year-old Bobbi Gichard (Greendale, Hawkes Bay), who qualified for the FINA World Championships at the New Zealand Open Championships last month, will join Fa’amausili at their second World Junior Championships.

The talented pair will be joined by the Auckland trio of Annabelle Paterson (United), Wilrich Coetzee and Yeonsu Lee (both North Shore).

Swimming New Zealand has nominated eight swimmers to the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) for consideration for selection for the Commonwealth Youth Games.

The swimmers are Coetzee, Fa’amausili, Gichard, Lee, Paterson, Mario Koenigsperger (Howick Pakuranga), Eliot Lundon-Moore (Aquabladz New Plymouth) and Bayley Main (Howick Pakuranga), with the team to be named by the NZOC.

In other swims tonight, 15 year old Sam McKenzie (Tasman, Nelson) and 16 year old Joshua Taylor-Martin (Enterprise, Hawkes Bay) produced the quickest times in the men’s 100m freestyle clocking 51.93s and 51.94s respectively.

McKenzie’s time broke his own New Zealand age group record with 12 year old Michael Pickett (Enterprise) also claiming a national age group record in 58.30.

The women’s 100m freestyle was hotly contested across all age groups with Paige Flynn (St Peter’s, Waikato) claiming the 17-18 years title in 58.07 ahead of Capital swimmer Maggie Burns (58.08).

In the men’s 17-18 years 200m butterfly Coetzee took out the honours in 2:02.50 ahead of United’s Max Polianski (2:03.96) and Wharenui’s Thomas Moot (2:08.37).

Lee claimed her sixth national title this week in winning the women’s 16 years 200m freestyle in 2:19.09.

Junior Pan Pacific swimmer Andrew Trembath (Neptune, Otago) won the men’s 17-18 years 50m backstroke in 56.60 from Polianksi (26.99) and Fairfield’s Jarred Curtis (27.49).

Michael Mincham (Waterhole, Auckland) took out the men’s 17-18 years 1500m freestyle but was off his best clocking 15:54.81.

The team for the FINA World Junior Championships in Singapore on 25 - 30 August is:

Annabelle Paterson (United, Auckland); Bobbi Gichard (Greendale, Hawkes Bay); Gabrielle Fa’amausili (Roskill, Auckland); Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore, Auckland); Yeonsu Lee (North Shore, Auckland).

Staff: Donna Bouzaid (Team Leader), Noel Hardgrave-Booth (Coach) and Jodi Cossor (Sports Science).

CAPTION: Gabrielle Fa’amausili in action during the 2015 Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Group Championships.

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

Nz Age Groups