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The start of something extraordinary

Stanley attains qualifying standard in morning heats

Matt Stanley ignited the morning session on day two of the 2016 New Zealand Open Swimming Championships by blitzing to an Olympic nomination time in the heats of the men's 200m freestyle.

The 2012 World Short Course 400m freestyle bronze medallist stopped the clock in 1:47.68 to better the Rio Olympic qualifying standard by some 0.29s.

Stanley will seek an even quicker mark in this evening's final and may also have half-an-eye on his two-year-old national record mark which stands at 1:47.09.  Ewan Jackson (Howick Pakuranga) was the second quickest into tonight's final registering 1:49.22.

Fresh off winning his 12th national 50m breaststroke title last night, Los Angeles-based Glenn Synders advanced to tonight's men's 200m breaststroke final as the fastest qualifier, clocking a respectable 2:12.98. Should the 28-year-old North Shore swimmer earn an Olympic qualification time in the four lap event he will need to dip below 2:11.66 in the medal race tonight.

Also in action at the Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre on Auckland's North Shore, national record holder Nathan Capp topped the qualifiers from the heats of the men's 400m individual medley in a time of 4:24.43. The Greerton club swimmer will, however, need to better his best ever mark of 4:17.72 in tonight's final to achieve the testing Olympic standard of 4:16.71.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games representative Laura Quilter (North Shore) comfortably headed the qualifiers from the opening stanza of the women's 200m freestyle event, recording 2:02.86 from Samantha Lucie-Smith (Coast) in 2:03.62.

Just 0.07 separated the fastest two swimmers into tonight's women's 200m breaststroke final as 15-year-old Ellie Eastwood (United) recorded 2:40.10 to edge Mille MacDonald (Parnell) in the morning heats.

In the non-Olympic women's 50m backstroke, the World Junior champion Gabrielle Fa'amausili was predictably the swiftest qualifier by almost a full second. The 16-year-old United Swimmer Club recorded a handy 28.36 ahead of tonight's final some 0.96 swifter than Bobbi Gichard (Howick Pakuranga). In the men's 50m backstroke, Corneille Coetzee (North Shore) topped the qualifiers. His time of 26.33 was 0.17 quicker the next best Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga).

There are 256 swimmers from 56 clubs competing at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre at AUT Millennium, with heats from 10am and finals from 7pm through to Friday. Finals will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 3.

NZ Open Championships

Rio Olympic