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Mayfair Pools Oceania Championships – Day 2 Heats

Some of New Zealand’s young guns shone on the second morning of heats at the Mayfair Pools Oceania Championships in Auckland today.

World junior champion Gabrielle Fa’amausili (29.04) edged fellow New Zealander Bobbi Gichard (29.91) on top of qualifiers in the women’s 50m backstroke, with the pair preparing for the Youth Olympic Games.

Joining them was Porirua’s Ben Walsh who topped qualifiers in the men’s 100m breaststroke. The 17 year old, preparing for August’s Junior Pan Pacific Championships, clocked 1:03.50 ahead of compatriot Julian Layton (1:03.77).

The 10th Oceania Championships has attracted 175 competitors from 14 nations for the pool and synchronised swimming competition until Friday.

In other heat swims today Australians dominated heats of the men’s 50m backstroke topped by Nicholas Groenewald (26.77) from Nicholas Brown (27.78).

In a repeat of their clash at the national open championships, Tash Hind (NZL 4:59.05) was faster than compatriot Helena Gasson (5:01.27) in the 400m individual medley.

Australia’s Joachim Bardrum topped qualifiers in the men in 4:34.41 but just half a second ahead of Kiwi Nathan Capp (4:34.98) to set up an intriguing final.

The 200m freestyle winner Ami Matsuo (Australia), who broke the Oceania Championship record in her victory last night, was fastest in the 100m freestyle heats. She clocked 55.53 to head off compatriots Chelsea Gillett and Shayna Jack with Samantha Lucie-Smith the best of the New Zealanders in 56.46.

Australian-based Cantabrian Cameron Simpson was fastest in heats of the 100m freestyle in 51.21 ahead of Australia’s 200m freestyle winner Kyle Chalmers (51.61) and Kiwi Steven Kent (51.68).

New Zealanders led the way in heats of the women’s 100m breaststroke led by Beckie Dooley (1:12.50) and Jane Ip (1:13.68).

Tonight’s finals begin at 6.30pm.

Caption: Ben Walsh in action in today’s heats of the 100m breaststroke.

Photo credit: BW Media