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The start of something extraordinary

Lauren Boyle - New Zealand’s best swimmer at the Olympics

Lauren Boyle, New Zealand’s best swimmer at the Olympics, produced an outstanding effort this evening to finish fourth in the women’s 800m freestyle.

Boyle, who beat her own New Zealand record in the heat, really turned on the power in the final and her time of 8min 22.72s took another 3.19s off her best.

The 24-year-old Aucklander chased home three of the big names of women’s freestyle swimming. The 800m gold medal went to American Katie Ledecky in 8min 14.63s from Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain and Rebecca Adlington of Britain.  Adlington headed off Boyle for the bronze by 2.4s.

Earlier this week Boyle smashed her own 400m freestyle national record on her way to the final.

She is the only New Zealand swimmer at the London Olympics to have reached a final.

Other New Zealanders couldn’t make an impression in today’s Olympic swimming heats.  In the women’s 50m freestyle heats, Hayley Palmer was timed at 25.47s, which placed her 23rd of the field of 73.  With the top 16 going through to the semi-finals, Palmer missed out by 0.19s.

And the New Zealand men’s 4 x 100m medley relay team narrowly missed making the final after recording a time of 3min 34.52s. Gareth Kean, Glenn Snyders, Andy McMillan and Carl O’Donnell finished fifth in their heat and ended up just 0.06s behind Canada, the eighth of the qualifiers for the final.