Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

Girl-power proves tops in swimming qualifers

Girls proved tops on the penultimate day of the Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Group Championships in Wellington today.

United clubmates Gabrielle Fa’amausili and Annabelle Paterson from Auckland both bettered the Junior Pan Pacific qualifying standard in the 200m backstroke while Northland’s Hayley McIntosh (Northwave) scored a second qualifying swim.

Fa’amausili, world junior champion in the 50m backstroke, had a surprising but pleasing result in her least favoured 200m backstroke event tonight.

The 16 year old stopped the clock in 2:15.56 in tonight’s final to go under the Junior Pan Pacific qualifying time and take just over three seconds off her previous personal best.

“That was awesome; it feels so unusual to actually do well in that event,” Fa’amausili said.

“I’m super happy with that and my training’s been going really well and just all thanks goes to my coach.”

“I’ve been working towards swimming smarter and swimming longer distances to improve my 100m so I’m really happy with that.”

Paterson, 17, bettered the qualifying standard in the 200m backstroke event twice today after going 2:15.93 in the heats and then touching in 2:14.30 in tonight’s finals to also take out the age group national title.

The United swimmer is hoping her experience as part of last year’s junior world championship and Commonwealth Youth Games teams will help her perform to her best at the Junior Pan Pacific championships in Hawaii.

“I’m really targeting just to PB at Junior Pan Pacs and improve my times from Opens and here and see what I can do,” Paterson said. “I want to learn more from Singapore and Samoa last year and try not to be as nervous as I was then.”

“I’m really stoked though to go under the time twice today, I’ve been aiming for this for ages so it’s really good.”

Northland’s McIntosh picked up her second qualifying swim of the meet in the 800m freestyle going 8:56.72.

McIntosh won silver in the 800m freestyle at the recent Australian Age Group Championships and claimed the national age group title tonight.

Caitlin Deans (Neptune) also came devastatingly close to also going under the qualifying time touching in 9:00.48. The qualifying time was 9:00.41.

n other swims North Shore’s Wilrich Coetzee continued his winning ways, picking up titles in the 17-18 years over the 200m individual medley and 100m butterfly.

The competition concludes with heats from 9am and finals from 6pm.

The event is live streamed for a subscription of $15 for the week. Live streaming is available here.

CAPTIONS: Annabelle Paterson at the Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Championships in Wellington.

NZ Age Groups