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The start of something extraordinary

Boyle, Batchelor in champion form at State NZ Short Course swimming

Lauren Boyle and Sophia Batchelor added further qualifying performances to highlight the penultimate night of finals at the State New Zealand Short Course Swimming Championships in Wellington.

Boyle (North Shore) confirmed her class to win the 400m freestyle in 4:02.43, which was more than four seconds inside the qualifying time for December’s world championships.

She went through the midway mark under two minutes and powered home well ahead of promising North Shore teenager Tabitha Baumann, and only just outside Melissa Ingram’s national record.

Boyle qualified in the 800m freestyle earlier in the meet, and was delighted with her performance at the Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre tonight.

“I was really happy with that swim because it was well under the qualifying time and I did my best time today,” Lauren Boyle said.

“I didn’t really stop training after the Olympics because I really wanted to qualify for the world champs at this meet. I only swam every second day for three weeks and only short swims after London.

“It hasn’t been that hard to stay motivated because I had this goal in mind. It would have been nice and healthy to have had a break and I probably should have but I needed to go to this meet in December.

“Going to the world championships in short course so soon after the Olympics will be another intense competition and beneficial looking ahead to the world champs long course next year. I think one of the things I need to work on is the exposure to this level of competition and the intensity that I need to swim fast in the morning and again at night.”

Batchelor followed her hot form from last night when she qualified again, this time with a superb performance in winning the 100m butterfly.

This is the event that the 17 year old missed qualification for London by the blink of the eye, but she was in dominant form tonight to win in 58.24s. This bettered the qualifying time for the world championships and broke her national record set at the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2011.

Batchelor did not rest on that performance, jumping back in the pool to win the 50m backstroke in 28.38.

Corey Main (Howick Pakuranga) was again in winning form to take out the 100m freestyle ahead of 50m winner Nielsen Varoy, while Jeffrey Arona-Tuifana’e (Howick Pakuranga) won the 50m breaststroke in 29.18.

In the individual medley finals, Dunedin swimmers celebrated with wins. Kate Godfrey won the women’s final over 200m in 2:14.32 and her Neptune clubmate Kurt Crosland won the men’s 100m final in 54.68 after winning the 50m backstroke earlier in the night.

The championship finishes tomorrow night.

Day 4 Open Finals results:

Women 200m individual medley: Kate Godfrey (Neptune) 2:14.32, 1; Chloe Francis (North Shore) 2:14.62, 2; Tash Hind (Capital) 2:15.09, 3.

Men 100m freestyle: Corey Main (Howick Pakuranga) 48.97, 1; Nielsen Varoy (Roskill) 49.43, 2; Matthew Stanley (Matamata) 49.47, 3.

Women 100m butterfly: Sophia Batchelor (Aquagym) 58.24, 1 (NZ Record, World Championship qualifying); Samantha Lee (Capital) 58.99, 2; Laura Quilter (Comet) 1:00.13, 3.

Men 50m breaststroke: Jeffrey Arona-Tuifana’e (Howick Pakuranga) 29.18, 1; George Schroder (Aquagym) 29.18, 2; Ben Walsh (Porirua City) 29.45, 3.

Women 50m backstroke: Sophia Batchelor 28.38, 1; Caroline Baddock (Laser Mt Eden) 28.45, 2; Grace Marriner-Duncan (Laser Mt Eden) 28.73, 3.

Men 50m backstroke: Kurt Crosland (Neptune) 24.20, 1; Corey Main 25.22, 2; John Gatfield (Capital) 25.68, 3.

Women 400m freestyle: Lauren Boyle (North Shore) 4:02.43, 1 (World Championship qualifying); Tabitha Baumann (North Shore) 4:07.03, 2; Emma Robinson (Capital) 4:11.32, 3.

Men 100m individual medley: Crosland 54.68, 1; Steven Kent (North Shore) 55.57, 2; Mitchell Donaldson (North Shore) 56.96, 3.