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The start of something extraordinary

Tough European Build-Up for Swimming New Zealand Team

The New Zealand swim team will embark on a demanding schedule in Europe in preparation for July’s FINA World Championships.

The team leaves next weekend for a seven-week campaign that culminates in the world championships in Barcelona on 20 July to 5 August.

The members of the pool competition team will compete in the prestigious Mare Nostrum swim meets, taking in the second and final rounds in Barcelona 12-13 June (NZ time) and Canet 16-17 June.

Meanwhile the four-strong team for the open water swim will take part in a trial event on the world championship course in Barcelona on 16-17 June (NZ time).

The endurance members of the pool team will then head for a training stint at the Spanish high altitude base in Sierra Nevada under new head coach David Lyles while the others will head to a sea level camp in Barcelona under Gary Hurring.

Both squads will compete in a meet in France in early July before their final staging camp back in Spain ahead of the world championships.

“They have been working very hard, but there is still a lot more work to do,” said Swimming New Zealand High Performance Director, Luis Villanueva, who will be the campaign leader.

“We have been very pleased with their attitude and the aptitude. Within our resources we want to provide the best opportunity for them to achieve their best at the world championships."

“Of course returning to Spain has been a benefit with my contacts there and getting some of the group into Sierra Nevada.”

Short course world champion Lauren Boyle has already been to the altitude base earlier in the year and will be joined this time by Nathan Capp, Mitchell Donaldson, Matt Stanley and Shaun Burnett.

“We believe this will be beneficial and if this works well for them, then we will look to potentially replicate this for the Commonwealth Games next year.”

New High Performance Coach David Lyles and Wellington Regional High Performance Coach Gary Hurring head the coaching team for the pool competition, with Philip Rush and Waterhole club coach Judith Wright for open water.

The bulk of the team leave on Saturday 8 July, with the open water swimmers to follow, with Christchurch’s Sophia Batchelor joining the following week and Glenn Snyders flying directly to Europe from his base in USA.

The AquaBlacks team to contest the FINA World Championships in Barcelona in July is:

Pool: Sophia Batchelor (AquaGym, Christchurch), Lauren Boyle (North Shore), Shaun Burnett (North Shore), Nathan Capp (Greerton, Tauranga), Mitchell Donaldson (North Shore), Gareth Kean (Capital, Wellington), Samantha Lee (Capital), Samantha Lucie-Smith (Capital), Glenn Snyders (North Shore), Matthew Stanley (Matamata).

Open water: Cara Baker (Howick Pakuranga, Counties Manukau), Emma Robinson (Capital), Philip Ryan (Waterhole, Auckland), Kane Radford (Rotorua Aquatics).

Coaches: David Lyles, Gary Hurring, Philip Rush (open water), Judith Wright (open water).

Support: Luis Villanueva (High Performance Director, Team Manager), Tom Vandebogaerde (physiologist), Jodi Cosser (biomechanist).



The Auckland-based members of the team are available for media as follows:

When:                  Wednesday 5 June

Where:                 Millennium Institute

Time:                     0830-0930            Images/ Vision

                              0930-1000            Interviews

Contact:               Melissa Ingram, Communications Officer, Swimming NZ,
                            Tel 09 4772024/ 021794699


For further information contact:


Media Manager

Swimming NZ High Performance

Sports Media NZ Ltd

Tel 09 2327822

Mob 0275 613181

E: ian@sportsmedianz.com

Skype: kiwiheps