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The start of something extraordinary

Boyle makes record start, Main impresses

Lauren Boyle turned in a hugely impressive showing in her first swim of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Boyle, a triple world championship medallist last year, began her games campaign with the 200m freestyle, which is a little short of her ideal distance.

However, the 26-year-old set a New Zealand record of 1min 56.82s and was the third fastest of the 28 swimmers who contested the event. For a swimmer who had not previously gone under 1min 57s, it was a superb effort.

Australian Emma McKeon, 1min 56.57s, and Englishwoman Siobhan O’Connor, 1min 56.58s, led the qualifiers. The first three qualifiers all went under the previous games record.

While her final was fractionally slower in 1:57 flat, to finish fourth by a slim margin, both times were her fastest ever and augurs well for her favoured 800m and 400m to come.

There were two other New Zealanders in the event. Samantha Lucie-Smith recorded 1min 59.63s, for 13th fastest overall, and Emma Robinson’s 2min 01.78s placed her 16th.

Another big name in the New Zealand swim team, Glenn Snyders, just missed a place in the final of the men’s 200m breaststroke.

Though the 200m is not his favoured distance, Snyders was given a good chance of qualifying for the final. He swam 2min 12.16s and was ninth overall. The three fastest qualifiers were all Scots.

In the men’s 400m freestyle, Matthew Stanley and Dylan Dunlop-Barrett missed out on making the eight-man final.

Stanley recorded a disappointing 3min 52.81s to be 11th fastest of the 28 swimmers and team-mate Dunlop Barrett’s heat time of 3min 53.35s placed him 12th.

The fastest qualifier was Australian David McKeon with 3min 45.23s and the eighth fastest man, another Australian, Jordan Harrison, recorded 3min 47.75s.

In the women’s 100m butterfly, talented Wellingtonian Samantha Lee qualified for the semifinals when she swam 1min 00.29s, which placed her 12th of the 16 semi-finalists.

Corey Main turned in an impressive effort in the men’s 100m backstroke qualifying. His time of 54.40s placed him fourth among the 16 qualifiers, the fastest of whom was Englishman Chris Walker-Hebborn, with 53.30s.

The US-based swimmer from Howick Pakuranga went quicker again with a 54.28s effort in the semifinal to book himself a place in tomorrow’s final.

In the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, New Zealand qualified comfortably for the final, though with only 11 starters, it was not a demanding task.

New Zealand were fourth fastest qualifier, behind Australia, England and Canada. The New Zealanders’ time was 3min 45.32s, fractionally ahead of Scotland.

This was their lot again in the final when they went quicker in 3:43.83 in a slick race won by Australia who smashed the Commonwealth and Games records in 3:30.98.