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The start of something extraordinary

Silver return in front of Royals for Boyle

New Zealand swim queen Lauren Boyle won a hard-earned silver medal in the women’s 800m freestyle final today.

Boyle, 26, swam stroke for stroke with Welsh woman Jazz Carlin for most of the journey and still led after 600m. However, Carlin put in a sizzling final 200m and Boyle could not hold on.

Carlin was timed at 8min 18.11s, a Games record. Boyle eventually finished second in 8min 20.59s ahead of Canadian Brittany MacLean in 8min 20.91s.

After her excellent 200m freestyle warm-up on the opening day, Boyle might have expected a faster time in Glasgow. When she claimed the bronze medal in last year’s world champs in Barcelona, she swam 8min 18.58s.

“I'm really happy. It's bitter-sweet and hard to describe, but I'm really happy with how I did,” Boyle said immediately after the race.

“At the end of an 800 you're always feeling tired and I wanted to try and have something left, but I just didn't have enough there.”

Boyle’s is the New Zealand team’s second medal in Glasgow, after Sophie Pascoe’s gold medal yesterday.

Boyle swims the 400m freestyle tomorrow, which presents a stern test.

“It is a strange programme here. We never have the 400m usually straight after the 800m free so it will be a pretty demanding test,” Boyle said. “There are three or four others from tonight’s final also swimming but there are some who have been saved for this. It will be a big test just to get through qualifying and then get some rest and come back for the final.”

It proved an excellent debut at this level for Counties Manukau backstroker Corey Main, who finished fourth in the final of the 200m. The Florida University swimmer clocked 1:57.79 for a second personal best, to go with his PB in the 100m backstroke earlier in the meet.

The 19 year old took it to his more exulted company to lead through the midway mark in 56.71 but could not quite hang on over the final 50m to finish fourth, only one second off a podium.

“I am pretty pleased. That was so hard and it’s stinging right now,” Main said after the race. “I wanted to go out hard and give it all I had. The plan with my coach was to go hard and then come on well but I was not quite able to do it.

“Overall I am really pleased with my performances here and I am looking forward to Pan Pacs. First of all I have the medley relay tomorrow and the chance for another strong 100m backstroke.”

Veteran Glenn Snyders, like Main now based in USA, finished fifth in the final the 50m backstroke in 27.53 after pushing strongly to the front over the first 35m. He was in contention for third but faded over the final few metres and had to settle for fifth.

“I felt okay but I am a little disappointed with the time. Third place was less than a tenth of a second away,” Snyders said.

“The swim was okay but the times were a little slow apart from the front two. It was a high class field of Olympic standard. Now all I can do is to get ready for a big swim in the medley relay tomorrow.”

South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh won in a games record 26.76s.