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The start of something extraordinary

Three Medals for Kiwi Swimmers in Europe

New Zealand swimmers earned three medals on the opening night of finals in the Mare Nostrum series in Barcelona today.

World short course champion Lauren Boyle finished second in the 800m freestyle, Gareth Kean was second in the 200m backstroke and Glenn Snyders placed third in the 100m breaststroke.

The Aqua Blacks are competing in two of the three meets that make up the annual Mare Nostrum series – named after the ancient Roman name for the Mediterranean Sea – in Barcelona today and tomorrow and Canet en Roussillon on 15 and 16 June.

Boyle was run down in the final 200m by double London Olympic medallist Garcia Belmonte (ESP) in the final of the 800m freestyle. The New Zealander made a fast start in her first competitive swim since the national championships in March before Belmonte hit the front at the 600m mark, going on to win in 8:26.00 with Boyle two seconds behind.

Wellington open water swimmer Emma Robinson finished eighth in the final.

Boyle returned to the pool to finish fourth in the final of the 200m freestyle in 2:00.47.

Kean showed plenty of pace in the 200m backstroke final, going through the halfway point in a slick 57.07 but was eventually nabbed in the final 50m by the European champion Yanick Lebherz (GER) who won in 1:59.02, with the Wellington swimmer half a second behind in second.

Snyders qualified second fastest in the heats of the 100m breaststroke but had to settle for third in the final. London Olympic gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) took out the final in 1:00.38 ahead of Pan American Games medallist Felipe Lima (BRA) and Snyders, who clocked 1:01.12, faster than his morning effort.

Swimming New Zealand High Performance Director Luis Villanueva said it was a solid start but he expects more tomorrow, with the focus on producing competitive times in the preliminaries and going faster in the finals.

In other swims in A Finals, Kean was fifth in the 50m backstroke, Samantha Lucie-Smith was seventh in the final of the 400m individual medley and 200m freestyle, Matthew Stanley seventh in the 400m freestyle in 3:57.79 and eighth in the 100m freestyle; Shaun Burnett seventh in the final of the 200m butterfly and Samantha Lee eighth in the 100m butterfly.

Results of A Finals:

Women 800m freestyle: Garcia Belmonte (ESP) 8:26.00, 1; Lauren Boyle (NZL) 8:28.60, 2; Erika Vallaecija (ESP) 8:35.83, 3. Also: Emma Robinson (NZL) 9:02.26, 8.

Men 50m backstroke: Gerhard Zandberg (RSA) 25.14, 1; Aschwin Wildeboer (ESP) 25/33, 2; Johnatan Kopelev (ISR) 25.47, 3. Also: Gareth Kean 25.66, 5.

Women 400m individual medley: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 4:35.60, 1; Garcia Belmonte (ESP) 4:39.90, 2; Joanna Marahao (BRA) 4:45.89, 3. Also: Samanta Lucie-Smith (NZL) 4:53.89, 7.

Men 100m freestyle: Hamser Hernandex (CUB) 49.14, 1; Evgteny Lagunov (RUS) 49.40, 2; Sinro Shioura (JPN) 49.47, 3. Also: Matthew Stanley (NZL) 51.08, 8.

Men 100m breaststroke A: Cameron van der Burgh (RUS) 1:00.38, 1; Felipe Lima (BRA) 1:00.82, 2; Glenn Snyders (NZL) 1:01.12, 3.

Men 200m backstroke: Yannick Lebherz (GER) 1:59.02, 1; Gareth Kean (NZL) 1:59.53, 2; Gabor Balog (HUN) 1:59.77, 3.

Men 200m butterfly: Bence Biczo (HUN) 1:56.71, 1; Ykui Kobori (JPN) 1:56.89, 2; Nikolay Skvortzov (RUS) 1:58.53, 3. Also: Shaun Burnett (NZL) 2:00.88

Women 100m butterfly: Jeanette Gray (DEN) 57.89, 1; Katarina Listopadova (SVK) 59.47, 2; Ingvild Snildal (NOR) 59.62, 3. Also: Samantha Lee (NZL) 1:00.63, 8.

Women 200m freestyle: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 1:57.72, 1; Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 1:58.24, 2; Melanie Costa Schmid (ESP) 1:58.33, 3. Also: Lauren Boyle (NZL) 2:00.47, 4; Samantha Lucie-Smith (NZL) 2:01.66, 7.

Men 400m freestyle: Myles Brown (RSA) 3:54.74, 1; Ayatsugu Hirai (JPN) 3:55.16, 2; Matias Koski (FIN) 3:54.85, 3. Also: Matthew Stanley (NZL) 3:57.79, 7.

Full results: www.swimmingnz.org.nz

The image is free for editorial use only. Credit: Ian Macnicoll Caption: Lauren Boyle in action.

For further information contact: 

Swimming NZ High Performance
Sports Media NZ Ltd
Tel 09 2327822
Mob 0275 613181
E: ian@sportsmedianz.com
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