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The start of something extraordinary

Boyle Completes World Class Campaign in Europe in Style

New Zealand swimmer Lauren Boyle has completed a remarkable two weeks of her career with another world class performance on the second day of the FINA World Cup in Berlin today.

The 25 year old has finished second in the 400m freestyle, for the second day in a row behind Spanish star Belmonte Garcia who again broke a world record in the process.

Boyle took the challenge to the classy field, leading until the 350m mark before Garcia lifted with a superb final 50m to win in 3:54.52, breaking the previous world record by 33/100ths of a second.

The New Zealander was second in 3:55.31, just a blink of the eye slower than the national record she set in Eindhoven earlier in the week.

Her coach David Lyles said Boyle is drained both physically and mentally after two weeks of world class performances with three medals at the World Championships, two gold and two silver medals in five days in the World Cup, and a bevy of records in the process.

“At this level it is about being consistent and what Lauren has managed to produce over the last 14 days is sheer consistency. We never mentioned world records coming into these competitions because she has improved so much that you do not know what to expect,” Lyles said.

“It was so fast and such a big improvement (the 800m and 400m freestyle in Eindhoven) that to do it again a couple of days later is tremendous and a real credit to her.”

Lyles, who has coached at the top level in Britain and China, is delighted with Boyle’s progress.

“Lauren is probably the most single minded, focussed and driven athlete that I have had. She is a pleasure to coach because whatever you throw at her, she takes it on and challenges herself to do the best job she can.

“She’s improved in an event that requires a lot of commitment and time. She is putting in 30 to 40 hours a week for this and it takes a considerable toll on the body and on the mind. But Lauren is such a driven and focussed person that this is not the end, it is just the start. She is now confident and I am that she can continue to improve.”

Lyles said Boyle can become the catalyst for development of the sport in this country.

“Now you have stability from the top down in the organisation, it’s confident on behalf of the athletes, the group we have training in Auckland is very focussed and passionate about what we are doing, so we can expect more for sure.

“This campaign has been one of the best experiences of my coaching career over the last nearly 25 years.

“The world has improved but I think we have the athletes to improve at a greater speed. I just need to find some more athletes. New Zealand is not blessed with an enormous population of people. So what we have to do in New Zealand now is identify talent, nurture and develop it, and bring it up to world class level. Lauren has proved that if she can do it then so can someone else.”

Boyle will take a few days off before returning to New Zealand for a break and then reset her goals towards next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Earlier fellow New Zealand teammate Shaun Burnett was 15th fastest in the 100m butterfly in 54.25.

Day 2 results, FINA World Cup, Berlin:
Women’s 400m freestyle, Heats: Lauren Boyle (NZL) 3:59.84, 1; Belmonte Garcia (ESP) 4:02.92, 2; Lotte Friis (DEN) 4:04.04, 3.
Final: Garcia 3:54.52, 1 (World Record); Boyle 3:55.31, 2; Melanie Costa (ESP) 3:58.31, 3.