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The start of something extraordinary



Kyla Alexander upset club mate Gabrielle Fa’amausili in the women’s 50m backstroke final to win her first open short course title and breaking a national age group record in the process.

The sixteen-year-old from United Swimming Club was seeded second behind Fa’amausili heading into the final. Alexander shot out of the blocks to lead at the turn and held on to win in 27.71, breaking Fa’amausili’s national 16-years record.

“It feels amazing to break her NAG (national age group) record. It’s the icing on the cake to go with winning my first open title.”

Training together under United coach Igor Polianski has brought the two athletes closer.

“Gabby is not only my biggest competition, but she is also a really close friend. I have looked up to her for a long time and it feels good to know that I can compete with her.”

Fa’amausili responded by saying, “I’m really proud of her, we always make training a blast for each other, cracking jokes and giving each other stick. She got the last laugh in this one.

In finishing second, Fa’amausili did break her own national girls 17-years 50m backstroke record with a time of 27.73 seconds.

“Overall I’ve absolutely loved racing with my United team this week and seeing everyone's training really pay off.”

Earlier in the final evening session, Fa’amausili added the open 100m freestyle title with a national girls 17-years record to cap off a successful week. Fa’amausili also admits that there is work to be done before Commonwealth games trials in December.

“I’m happy the week, but I’m not satisfied with my performances. There's a lot that needs working on especially heading into trials, says Fa’amausili.

Michael Mincham (United), 21, rounded out the individual events with a win in the men’s 1500m freestyle final. Mincham finished in 14:50.61, over 20 seconds ahead of 17-year-old Zac Reid (Aquabladz). Earlier in the week Reid beat Bradlee Ashby and Mincham in the 400m freestyle open final.

“It feels good to get the open title especially since Zac Reid performed well earlier in the week picking up great times with his 400m and 200m free, so I was really happy to get this win and overall happy with my performances this week,” says Mincham.

Day 5 Records:

Kyla Alexander (United)
Record: Female 16-years age group

Event: 50m backstroke
Time: 27.71

Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United)
Record: Female 17 years age group

Event: 50m Backstroke
Time: 27.73

Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United)
Record: Female 17 years age group

Event: 100m freestyle
Time: 54.96

Michael Pickett (Enterprise)
Record: Male 15 years age group

Event: 100m freestyle
Time: 50.71

This concludes the coverage of the 2017 NZ Short Course Championships.

EVENT PAGE: https://swimming.org.nz/event.php?friendly_id=2017nzshortcoursechampionships-event
LINK TO RESULTS: https://swimming.org.nz/event.php?id=2279
IMAGES: (1) Kyla Alexander (stock image)          (2) Michael Mincham
Images Credit: BW Media Photography