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The start of something extraordinary

Record Setting Start to Age Group Swimming Championships

Hawkes Bay teenager Bobbi Gichard set the pool alight on the opening day of the Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Group Swimming Championships in Wellington.

The 13 year old Gichard broke the national record twice in the 200m backstroke and went under the qualifying time for the World Junior Championships at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre tonight.

The Greendale club swimmer, coached by Noel Hardgrave-Booth, broke the old national age group record of the super-talented Sophia Bachelor by nearly two seconds in the morning heats clocking 2:17.32.

She then lowered this to 2:15.61 in the evening final, which was a whisker under the qualifying time for this year’s world junior championships, where Gichard will only just qualify for the 14-17 years age group.

Of course she has to achieve this qualifying time officially in next month’s national open championships in Auckland.

It proved a night for the 13-year-olds with Auckland’s Gabrielle Fa’amasuili (Laser Mt Eden) breaking her age group 50m freestyle record in the heats in the 16 & over, 4x50m freestyle relay as the lead off.

The other standouts included 13 year old Satory Dobbie from the QEII club in Christchurch and Wilrich Coetzee from Coast Swimming Club in Whangaparaoa.

The pair both won two gold medals on the opening day. Dobbie won the 50m backstroke in 30.86s and the 200m butterfly in 4:22.17s. Coetzee took out the 200m individual medley in 2:10.20 and the 200m butterfly in 4:22.17.

They were the only multiple winners on the opening day of the championships.

Full results: www.swimmingnz.org.nz

CAPTION: Bobbi Gichard from Napier in action on her way to a record-setting win in the 200m backstroke on the first day of the Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Group Swimming Championships in Wellington today.

The image is free for editorial use only. Credit: BWP Photography

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