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Commonwealth Games Preparation Begins for Top Kiwi Swimmers

New Zealand’s top swimmers have left the country today to put in some hard yards before Christmas.

A team of 20 swimmers have been selected as part of the New Zealand National Team Training Camps and Preparatory Competitions 2013-2014. The team will train together at The Southport School on Queensland’s Gold Coast for 15 days before competing at the Queensland State Championships 14-18 December.

The camp provides swimmers with the opportunity to train together in a focused environment without the distractions of home.

Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance Director Luis Villanueva believes that this first camp of the season is an important stepping stone towards the Commonwealth Games next year.

“I hope that they will seize the opportunity to train and compete in Australia, and bring home some learning, and a lot of excitement to keep working on their preparation for the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships next year on the way to Rio 2016,” said Villanueva.

A number of Australia’s leading swimmers will be competing at the Queensland State Championships. The competition will be tough with the Kiwis challenging a number of the world’s best swimmers in the last swim meet of the year.

The team will not be rested for the competition because the focus of the trip is to “set up a challenging training environment for the swimmers and then we would like to see them compete as close to their personal best times as possible after a tough training camp in the first long course meet of the season,” stated Villanueva.

The team returns to New Zealand on the 18th of December.

Swimmers: Bradlee Ashby, Cameron Blair, Shaun Burnett, Nathan Capp, Kurt Crosland, Dylan Dunlop-Barrett, Gabrielle Fa'amausili, Isaac Foote, Bobbi Gichard, Natasha Hind, Ewan Jackson, Gareth  Kean, Steven Kent, Samantha Lee, Samantha Lucie-Smith, Michael Mincham, Samuel Perry, Emma Robinson, and Julian Weir.

Staff: Gary Hurring, Jana Korbasova, David Lyles, Tom Vandenbogaerde.