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The start of something extraordinary

Pascoe brings golden start for swimming medals

Para-Swimming star Sophie Pascoe provided New Zealand with their first medal in the pool when she totally dominated the women’s SB9 100m breaststroke event.

The 21-year-old Cantabrian showed what was likely to happen when she won her morning heat by more than two seconds in a time of 1min 19.71s at the Tollcross International Aquatic Centre.

In the final, she was even quicker – 1min 19.36s – and was two seconds ahead of silver medallist Madeleine Scott of Australia.

Fifteen-year-old New Zealander Nikita Howarth, swimming up a division so she could compete at the games, was seventh in 1min 33.21s.

In the women’s 100m freestyle, Wellingtonian Samantha Lucie-Smith qualified eighth fastest for the semi-finals with a time of 55.71s. She found the going tougher in the semis, swimming 56.09s, which slipped her down to 12th overall and out of the final.

Glenn Snyders bounced back from the disappointment of missing out on a medal in the 100m breaststroke to qualify fourth for the 50m semi-finals. Snyders clocked 27.45s. In the semis, Snyders was fractionally faster, 27.43s, and was the sixth fastest qualifier for the final.

The New Zealand men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team qualified fourth for the final. Fourth fastest in their heat in 7:19.69s, the quartet of Matthew Stanley, who came in for Steven Kent, Mitchell Donaldson, Ewan Jackson and Dylan Dunlop-Barrett clocked a solid 7:14.63 in the final, just a fraction outside the national record. The team finished 5th in the final.

Lauren Boyle, the big name in the New Zealand team, was the second fastest qualifier in her best race, the 800m freestyle. Boyle looked very assured, clocking 8:24.85 as she shapes up for the final tomorrow. In the same event, Emma Robinson missed out on the final when she finished 10th equal, swimming 8min 41.02s, although will swim off in the morning for the second reserve.

CAPTION: Sophie Pascoe in action on the way to gold in Glasgow today.