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The start of something extraordinary

Palmer Leads Swim Team to Kazan

Two-time Olympian Hayley Palmer will lead a team of eight New Zealand swimmers to the World University Games to be held in Kazan, Russia from 6-17 July.

Palmer narrowly missed selection for the World Championship team in the 50m freestyle, just 0.2s outside the time needed to book her ticket to Barcelona, but the 24-year-old isn’t wallowing in self-pity, she’s planning to move onwards and upwards.

“I will be using this meet as an indication of where I am at going into preparations for Commonwealth Games next year, and I hope that I can perform at a level which would have otherwise been comparable to the performances we will see from the World Championships,” Palmer said.

Rising star Matthew Hutchins will be competing in his first World University Games after a successful season in 2012. The freestyle specialist is excited about competing internationally.

“I am really looking forward to going to Russia; I think that is one of the coolest parts about the trip. This is also the biggest international event I have been to so I am really looking forward to racing against more people from so many different countries,” said Hutchins.

The eighteen-year-old from the Wharenui swim club in Christchurch is determined to keep improving on his recent good form.

“My swimming goals are firstly to do personal best times. I would be upset with myself to travel that far and not improve. I have a couple of records in mind that I would like to target in certain races and I hope to make finals and finish with some good positions during the meet,” he said.

Palmer and Hutchins will be joined in the pool by rookies Matthew Glassford (Neptune, Dunedin), Kate Godfrey (Neptune), Laura Quilter (North Shore) and Emily McGill (Capital, Wellington).

Open water specialists Troy Balvert (St Peter’s, Cambridge) and Charlotte Webby (Aquabladz, Taranaki) competed in the 2011 Universiade and will contest the 10km event on the last day of competition, as well as the distance events in the pool.

The World University Games, otherwise known as the Universiade, is the second largest global high performance multi-sports event behind the Olympic Games. Kazan is expected to attract more than 8000 athletes from over 150 countries. It will be the first Universiade and the first high-profile multi-sport event in the history of modern Russia.

New Zealand swimming has a proud history at the World University Games. At the last event held in 2011 in China the Kiwi swimmers won 12 medals which ranked them third on the medal tally for swimming.

The New Zealand Swimming Team to contest the World University Games in Kazan in July is:
Swimmers: Troy Balvert (St Peter’s, Cambridge), Matthew Glassford (Neptune, Otago), Kate Godfrey (Neptune, Otago), Matthew Hutchins (Wharenui, Canterbury), Emily McGill (Capital, Wellington), Hayley Palmer (North Shore, Auckland), Laura Quilter (North Shore, Auckland), Charlotte Webby (Aquabladz, Taranaki).


For information contact:
Melissa Ingram
Swimming New Zealand
Communications Officer
Tel 021 794 699