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Radford, Baker claim 5km open water swim honours

Kiwi swimmers Kane Radford and Cara Baker confirmed their good form in taking out the 5km honours at the State New Zealand Open Water Championships in Taupo today.

The pair showed their strong recuperative powers after finishing runners-up in the 10km titles on Lake Taupo yesterday.

A select bunch formed at the front of the men’s race over the first 2.5km lap before talented Australian junior Josh Richardson and Radford pushed clear on the final lap to open up a 30 second advantage.

Radford (Rotorua HPC), the current Australian 5km champion, showed excellent speed to edge away from Richardson in the dash home to win in 59:30, only 10 metres clear.

Super talented Australian-based junior Michael Mincham (Waterhole, Auckland), coming in fresh for the 5km event, finished third overall.

Baker was in a class of her own in the women’s contest, clearing out to win in 1:03.27 to be in the top 10 on overall times.

It was the third straight national 5km title for the 21-year-old Baker, who lives on the Gold Coast.

She finished nearly three minutes clear of Taranaki’s Charlotte Webby who out-sprinted Australian Emily Seymour for second.

Baker and Radford completed an excellent weekend after earning places in the final Olympic open water qualifier in Portugal in June with their performances in the 10km race on Saturday.


5km men overall: Kane Radford (Rotorua, HPC) 59:30, 1; Josh Richardson (Australia) 59:34, 2; Michael Mincham (Waterhole, Auckland) 1:00.31, 3; Casey Glover (Capital, Wellington) 1:00.33, 4; Jonathon Pullon (Waterhole) 1:00.36, 5.

Women: Cara Baker (Howick Pakuranga, Counties Manukau) 1:03.27, 1; Charlotte Webby (Aquabladz, Taranaki) 1:06.01, 2; Emily Seymour (Australia) 1:06.11, 3; Shelby Wilson (Fairfield, Waikato) 1:12.17, 4; Grace Sommerville (Ashburton) 1:08.56, 5.