Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

World Champion Leads Swimming Team to Barcelona

Short course world champion Lauren Boyle will lead a 14-strong team to the FINA World Swimming Championships.

The team was named at the State Swimming New Zealand Awards in Auckland last night, following the national championships that concluded on Friday at the West Wave Aquatic Centre.

Boyle joins fellow London Olympians Gareth Kean, Glenn Snyders and Matt Stanley plus Christchurch teenager Sophia Batchelor as automatic qualifiers after achieving FINA A qualifying times in the pool this week.

They will join Australian-based Cara Baker, Kane Radford, Emma Robinson and Philip Ryan who qualified for the open water competition at their national championships in January.

The team also includes five young swimmers who qualified under the Rio development criteria as demonstrating acceleration towards the target of the 2016 Olympics – born in 1990 or later and achieving a FINA B qualifying team at the championships which was in the top 50 in the world last year.

They are Shaun Burnett, Nathan Capp, Mitchell Donaldson, Samantha Lee and Samantha Lucie-Smith.

Swimming New Zealand CEO Christian Renford said the organisation was encouraged by the leading swimmers during the national championships and the world class performances. That was led by Boyle, who set the fastest time in the year this year in winning the 800m freestyle, the event in which she finished fourth at London and earned victory in the short course world championships.

“Five performances rated in the top 12 in the year for 2012, which of course was enhanced in terms of quality as an Olympic year,” Renford said.

“Both Luis (Villanueva), the high performance director, and myself are new to the organisation and new to the country and we have been impressed with the attitude and aptitude of both our senior swimmers and the important next young development group.

“They have stood up at the championships and overall the team provides an excellent platform for the future.

“It is just the start for this group and for us as a sport. The team face some hard work in the next four months leading up to the world championships and some big challenges if we are to realise our goals for next year’s Commonwealth Games, the Rio Olympics and beyond.”

Additionally four teenagers have been selected for the New Zealand team for the FINA World Junior Championships to be staged in Dubai.

Selection was based on achieving a FINA B qualifying time at the championships, with the team including outstanding 13-year-old prospects Bobbi Gichard from Hawkes Bay and Gabrielle Fa’amausili from Auckland. They will be joined by 16 year old Queensland-based Michael Minchum (Auckland) and Hamilton 17 year old Bradlee Ashby.

Staff for both teams will be announced shortly.

The Aqua Blacks team to contest the FINA World Championships in Barcelona in July is:

Cara Baker (Howick Pakuranga, Counties Manukau), Sophia Batchelor (AquaGym, Christchurch), Lauren Boyle (North Shore), Shaun Burnett (North Shore), Nathan Capp (Greerton, Tauranga), Mitchell Donaldson (North Shore), Gareth Kean (Capital, Wellington), Samantha Lee (Capital), Emma Robinson (Capital), Philip Ryan (Waterhole, Auckland), Samantha Lucie-Smith (Capital), Kane Radford (Rotorua Aquatics), Glenn Snyders (North Shore), Matthew Stanley (Matamata).

Meanwhile Boyle has been lauded for her performances last year at the State Swimming New Zealand Awards, at a glittering function in Auckland.

Boyle was awarded the national swimmer of the year, international long course swimmer of the year, the Billie Fitzsimmons Cup and the overall State New Zealand swimmer of the year.

Her club North Shore was voted club of the year, and her coach of the last two years, Mark Regan, the coach of the year.

Paralympics star Sophie Pascoe was awarded swimmer of the year with a disability and her coach Roly Crichton was also recognised.

The awards were:

New Zealand Swimming Trust - Emerging Swimmer of the Year: Corey Main - Howick Pakuranga; Performance Swimming Club of the Yea: North Shore; New Zealand Swimming Trust - Community Swimming Club of the Year: Jennian Homes Ashburton; National  Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Boyle (North Shore); Bill Matson Technical Official of the Year: Jo Davidson (Auckland); Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Cara Baker (Howick Pakuranga); State Kiwi Swim Safe School of the Year: Bell Block School (New Plymouth); Quality Swim School of the Year: AC Baths Swim School (Taupo); Swimmer of the Year with a Disability: Sophie Pascoe (QE II); Relay Team of the Year: Men’s 4x100 Medley team – Gareth Kean, Glenn Snyders, Carl O’Donnell, Andrew McMillan; International Long Course Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Boyle; Swimming New Zealand Club Coach of the Year: Roly Crichton (QE II); Swimming New Zealand High Performance Coach of the Year: Mark Regan; People’s Choice Award: Mary Fisher (Capital); Billie Fitzsimmons Cup: Lauren Boyle; NZ Masters Swimming - Swimmer of the Year: Kath Johnstone; State Insurance - New Zealand Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Boyle.

For further information contact:

IAN HEPENSTALL  Media Manager Swimming NZ High Performance Sports Media NZ Ltd Tel 09 2327822 Mob 0275 613181 E: ian@sportsmedianz.com Skype: kiwiheps