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The start of something extraordinary

Manawatu teenager produces stunning effort at NZ Age Group Champs

Outstanding Manawatu teenager Mya Rasmussen produced a stunning record on the penultimate night of finals at the New Zealand Age Group Championships in Wellington.

Nearly 700 swimmers from more than 100 clubs, including several who are targeting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, are in action at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre.

Rasmussen, from the Kiwi West Aquatics club in Palmerston North, smashed her own national age record for 16 years in winning the 400m individual medley.

She clocked 4:44.89, the fastest than all age group national records, and nearly four seconds faster than her previous record set in Australia in December.

Her time was less than two seconds outside the qualifying mark of 4:43.06 for this year’s elite world championships.

“I was really not expecting it. I was crying at the end, I was just so happy,” Rasmussen said. “Because the Australian Age Groups are so soon we weren’t really focussing on it here so just to PB here was so cool and really unexpected.

“In Australia I’ll definitely be going for it again in the 400m IM as well as the 200m IM.

“I’ve been training hard and making sure I turn up to every training, doing all the little things and making sure I do everything right to keep moving forward.”

It was the only national age record set on the night but there were several other telling performances.

Wellington’s Lewis Clareburt (Capital) continued his winning ways with two further titles to take his tally to six victories this week. He won the 16-18 years 200m backstroke in 2:05.40 and the 100m butterfly in 55.48.

At the other end of the age spectrum was Dunedin’s Erika Fairweather from the Neptune club, who won the 12-13 years 400m individual medley in 5:06.31 and the 200m backstroke in 2:26.07 to make it five titles so far this week.

There was merit in the efforts of Wellington’s Pierce Collins (SwimZone Racing) who was third in the 12-13 years 100m butterfly, but as a 12-year-old he was only 0.3s off the national record in clocking 1:04.45.

The championships that are also a qualifying meet for the Youth Commonwealth Games finish on Saturday with heats from 9am and finals from 6pm and streamed live at www.swimming.org.nz

CAPTION: Palmerston North’s Mya Rasmussen after her record-breaking swim at the New Zealand Age Group Championships in Wellington today. Credit: BW Media.

NZ Age Groups