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The start of something extraordinary

Hunter, Mincham meet world championship qualifying marks

Howick Pakuranga’s Daniel Hunter has signalled his swimming intentions after completing a record-setting week at the New Zealand Short Course Championships at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre in Auckland.

The 22 year old won the 100m freestyle on the final night of the championships which doubled as the trial for the FINA World Short Course Championships.

His time of 47.52s was half a second inside the qualifying criteria for the world championships and also 0.09s inside his own national record.

This follows his successful qualification in the 50m and 200m freestyle this week.

Hunter finished with three national titles, two national records in the 50m and 100m freestyle and three swims inside the qualifying standard for December’s short course world championships in Canada.

“It was a tough one tonight, getting to the end of a long week. I had to push the first 50 and I knew the second 50 was going to hurt,” Hunter said.

“It’s been a pretty amazing week and obviously I am stoked with the results. It has set me up really well for this next block of training and I couldn’t be happier.”

Hunter is planning a major campaign in the lead-up to his first world championships in Canada. He will compete in the upcoming FINA World Cup meets in Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong before a final training stint with Rio Olympian Corey Main and his brother Bayley at the University of Florida before heading to Canada.

“I am excited about the world championships. I am going to target the 50m and 100m freestyle there and see what I can put out on a full taper.”

Hunter was shaping as the only swimmer to meet the qualifying standard for the world championships, until the final event on the final day when Auckland’s Michael Mincham (United) produced an impressive solo effort to take out the 1500m freestyle.

Mincham’s time of 14:55.94 was 13 seconds under the world championship qualifying criteria.

“I built in to it and it was a really good swim and I am so happy with that,” said Mincham.

“I have worked so hard and put in so many hours and it has all come together in the end which is really cool.

“The world championships will be my first as a senior and the experience is going to be really good. I am lost for words really.”

Hunter and Mincham will be joined in the team for the world championships by Corey Main who qualified by his performances in Rio.

There was excitement in the women’s 100m freestyle final with a dead-heat between Rio Olympic butterfly specialist Helena Gasson and super-talented teen Gabrielle Fa’amausili.

Gasson was behind at the 75m mark but flew home to touch at the same time as Fa’amausili in 55.56, with Paige Flynn (St Peters Cambridge) only a blink back in third.

North Shore’s Wilrich Coetzee was the most successful of the open swimmers at the championships with six victories, his final one coming in the 200m butterfly in 1:56.46, just half a second off the world championship qualifying mark.

Fa’amausili, 16, defended her national title in the 50m backstroke in 27.76 to complete a busy week, finishing clear of Cassie Wright (QEII) and Bobbi Gichard (Howick Pakuranga).

In the men’s event Corneille Coetzee (North Shore) took honours in 24.95 ahead of Andrew Trembath (Neptune) and Finn Kennard-Campbell (North Shore).

Australia’s Emily Washer completed an excellent championship with victory in the 200m butterfly in 2:07.02 with the national title going to Yeonsu Lee (North Shore) in 2:12.69.

Manawatu schoolboy Christopher Arbuthnott rounded out an unbeaten week in Para-Swimming action with victory in the 100m freestyle while Rio Paralympian Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) won the women’s 100m freestyle.

The 50m backstroke titles went to Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) in the men and Invercargill’s Jane Fox (Orca) in the women.


Men 100m freestyle: Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 47.52, 1 (NZ Record, World Champs qualifier); Julian Weir (Aquabladz) 48.18, 2; Michael Finlay (Orca) 49.54, 3.

Women 100m freestyle: Helena Gasson (North Shore) and Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 55.56, equal 1; Paige Flynn (St Peters) 55.60, 3.

Men 200m butterfly: Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 1:56.46, 1; Liam Albery (Capital) 1:59.37, 2; Isaac Foote (Masterton) 1:59.57, 3.

Women 200m butterfly: Emily Washer (Australia) 2:07.02, 1; Yeonsu Lee (North Shore) 2:12.69, 2; Paige Schendelaar-Kemp (Howick Pakuranga) 2:15.93, 3.

Men 50m backstroke: Corneille Coetzee (North Shore) 24.95, 1; Andrew Trembath (Neptune) 24.96, 2; Finn Kennard-Campbell (North Shore) 25.22, 3.

Men 1500m freestyle: Michael Mincham (United) 14:55.94, 1; Zac Reid (AquaBladz New Plymouth) 15:22.65, 2; Hamish Trlin (Capital) 15:27.22, 3.

Para-Swimming Results:

Men 100m Freestyle: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 57.82, 1; Tama Solouota (Howick Pakuranga) 1:03.09, 2; David Beck (Mt Albert Grammar) 1:04.02, 3.

Women 100m Freestyle: Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 1:08.18, 1; Olivia Upston (Parnell) 1:16.68, 2; Jane Fox (Orca, Southland) 1:14.58, 3.

Men 50m Backstroke: Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 36.46, 1; Tama Solouota (Howick Pakuranga) 33.84, 2; George Adam (North Canterbury) 38.52, 3.

Women 50m Backstroke: Jane Fox (Orca) 41.27, 1; Olivia Upston (Parnell) 43.84, 2; Hannah van Wijk (Dannevirke) 44.51, 3.

CAPTION: Daniel Hunter celebrates after victory in the 100m freestyle at the New Zealand Short Course Championships at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre. Credit: BW Media.

NZ Short Course Championships