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The start of something extraordinary

Kiwi Swimmers Dip Toes in Water Across Tasman

New Zealand swimmers had their first competitive outing of the season across the Tasman over the weekend.

World championship medallist Lauren Boyle finished second in the 200m freestyle on the opening day of the Queensland Championships in Brisbane, to lead home the New Zealand high performance squad who have been training on the Gold Coast this month.

In Penrith, Rotorua swimmer Kane Radford was third in the New South Wales 10km Open Water Championship to lead Kiwi qualifiers for the Oceania Championships to be staged at Lake Taupo next month.

The national swim squad are using the Queensland Championships to test their competitive juices off the back of a heavy three week training block in the Gold Coast.

Boyle, fifth at the 100m mark, showed her strength and competitive nature to climb into second in 1:58.63, only 0.9s outside her national record.

Australian teen sprint star Emma McKeon won in 1:56.17, which is the fifth fastest time in the world for this year.

In other swims in Brisbane, Matt Stanley clocked an encouraging 1:48.82 to win the B final of the men’s 200m freestyle after a sluggish heat, with his time good enough for fourth in the A final.

The Wellington pair of Samantha Lee and Tash Hind were ninth in the 100m butterfly (1:01.13) and eighth in the 400m medley (4:55.36) respectively, while Michael Mincham won the 17-18 years 400m freestyle in 3:59.64.

Several of New Zealand’s leading open water swimmers were at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith for the New South Wales Open Water Championships, which doubled as the qualifying swim for the Oceania Championships.

Western Australia’s Rhys Mainstone took out the men’s honours in 1:55.28 from Queensland’s Jarrod Poort (1:55.29) with Radford third (1:55.43).

Radford is currently based in Western Australia training with Mainstone. Auckland’s Phillip Ryan was seventh in 1:57.95 and Waikato’s Troy Balvert 13th in 2:01.27 to claim the other two qualifying spots for the men for the Oceania Championships.

Australia’s Laura Crockart was all class to win the women’s title in 2:13.55. Best of the Kiwis was Taranaki’s Charlotte Webby who was 13th in 2:21.07 with Hutt Valley’s Courtney Carson 17th in 2:26.29 and Auckland’s Bridget Maher 18th in 2:34.33 to secure their places for the Oceania Championships.