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The start of something extraordinary

Top New Zealand swimmers back in to the splash at home

New Zealand’s leading swimmers are back into action this week for the national short course championships at the Wellington Aquatic Centre.

The championships, which run from Tuesday until Saturday 6 September, double as the official trials for the FINA World Short Course Championship set for Doha on 3-7 December.

It completes an exhaustive programme for New Zealand’s elite swimmers following the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Pan Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast.

Current short course world champion Lauren Boyle will be in action over her favoured 800m freestyle, although as a Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championship medallist, she has automatically qualified for Doha.

It is the same for US-based breaststroker Glenn Snyders, although both must compete in Wellington.

Selectors have set times approximately equating to top-20 in the world this year, which will demand, often, New Zealand records or close to it in order to book a place to Doha.

Most of the Commonwealth Games swimmers will compete including Matthew Stanley, Mitchell Donaldson, Steven Kent, Dylan Dunlop-Barrett, Ewan Jackson, Snyders, Boyle, Emma Robinson, Samantha Lee and Laura Quilter. Missing is backstroker Corey Main who is returning to USA where he is on scholarship at the University of Florida.

Youth Olympic medallists Bobbi Gichard and Gabrielle Fa’amausili along with Jacob Garrod will compete, as well as Taranaki’s Charlotte Webby, who competes in the Pan Pacific Championship open water 10km in Hawaii tomorrow – the race added to the Junior Pan Pacs event after poor weather forced its cancellation on the Gold Coast.

There will be interest in the efforts of Tauranga swimmer Nathan Capp who missed qualifying for Glasgow, but recently broke the national short course 800m freestyle record.

The competition starts on Tuesday until Sunday with heats from 9am and finals from 6pm.

NZ Short Course Championships