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The start of something extraordinary

Hind looks to stake claim in State NZ Swimming Championships

Talented Wellington swimmer Natasha Hind is looking to come out from behind the shadows in the State New Zealand Open Championships starting in Auckland on Sunday.

The 22 year old, who trains under Mark Regan at Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance Centre, wants to be known for more than just a key relay swimmer.

She is chasing a place as an individual on the team for London at the six-day championships that double as the Olympic Trials at the West Wave Aquatic Centre in Henderson.

Hind anchored the women’s 4x200m relay team that won the silver medal at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and at the world championships in Shanghai last year, where their eighth place qualified the relay for London.

After also competing in the relay at the Beijing Olympics, Hind is keen to secure a spot on the relay team but also qualify as an individual for London.

“I really would like to make the team as an individual in the 200m freestyle. Lauren (Boyle) has qualified a spot there now. But there’s a second spot. So if I can get under that individual Olympic A qualifying time I would be happy,” Hind said.

“It is about half a second drop off my best time so hopefully all goes well it will be achievable.

That was her 1:58.80 that she set in the final at the Pan Pacific Championships in 2010, and now Hind believes she has done the hard yards for the trials.

“We started back in the water in September last year and it’s been a long build-up but we managed to go to altitude camp at the end of last year and I think that has really helped me coming in to trials.

“We managed to get a lot of mileage done at high altitude. They say you get six weeks done in three weeks so hopefully we got a few gains from being up there.

“It is definitely good to have the experience of having swum with the team at the worlds and help making us qualify so we know that we are capable of doing it. It is just a matter of making sure that I get on the team.”

“I am in the best shape of my life. We have been put through a process where it is impossible not to be ready for trials. It’s really good and it’s a really good feeling.”

The heats begin at 10am with finals from 6.30pm.