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The start of something extraordinary

Capp well prepared for chase towards Rio Olympics

Tauranga swimmer Nathan Capp is determined to legitimize his goal to be internationally competitive when he undertakes a challenging campaign at the FINA Swimming World Championship that begin in Kazan, Russia on Sunday.

The 22 year old believes he well prepared and been thrilled to be reunited with his old coach, Clive Power who is the interim coach of the High Performance Centre at AUT Millennium.

Capp, who narrowly missed selection to last year’s Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships, comes in to Kazan as the national record holder in the 800m and 1500m freestyle and 400m individual medley, knocking off long-standing records of Dylan Dunlop-Barrett, Danyon Loader and Dean Kent.

“I am going in to the championships with self belief. Those previous record holders were among the best swimmers New Zealand has produced so it gives me confidence,” Capp said.

“I believe I can go a lot faster especially in the 1500 free and the IM (medley).”

One of the keys has been an excellent preparation under Power.

“Clive has been awesome and has done a really good job with the team at the HPC. It’s been just what I needed,” Capp said. “He is an old-school coach, it’s been meat and potatoes stuff but that’s what I needed and what I like.”

The focus in Kazan has been working on his skills and has settled in well.

His aim is simple –to swim fast in the morning to earn an evening swim where he needs to go faster again.

“If I can push towards the top 10 here then looking to Rio, it will give more confidence for next year. This is pretty much a mirror image for next year.”

He faces a demanding schedule starting with the 800m freestyle on Tuesday where his national record has him currently ranked 41st in the world, the 1500m next Saturday (ranked 51st) and the individual medley on the final day next Sunday where he is ranked 39th.

Team leader Mark Saunders says the team is enjoying excellent facilities in Kazan, here all swimmers are staying in an Olympics-styled village for the first time, with two state-of-the-art, drop-in 50m pools at the Kazan Football Stadium.

Fifteen-year-old Bobbi Gichard is the only swimmer with slight health problems, picking up a virus after the team were held up overnight at Moscow with flight delays, but is now back in full training.

Three of the eight-strong pool team are in action on opening day with Matthew Stanley in heats of the men’s 400m freestyle, world third ranked Lauren Boyle in the women’s 400m freestyle and Glenn Snyders, ranked 20th, in the 100m breaststroke.

Both heats and finals will be shown live on Sky Sports.