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Swimming New Zealand plotting course for future

While the focus is on next month’s Olympics in London, Swimming New Zealand is already casting an eye towards the 2016 Rio Games.

They have named six swimmers to travel to the USA for the US Open Championships while a further six teenagers will head to Hawaii for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships, both in August.

This group comprise swimmers who are not travelling to London and the most promising teenagers who collectively form part of the Road to Rio programme.

“The swimmers selected for the US Trials have excellent potential and they will prosper with more quality international competition,” said Mark O’Connor, Acting CEO, Swimming New Zealand.

“We have a number of outstanding young swimmers who have already made a mark internationally at age group level and the Junior Pan Pacific Championships will provide them with their first serious world class meet against the best of their age from USA, Australia, Canada, Japan and the Pacific Islands.

“Collectively this group will be the key nucleus looking ahead to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Rio Olympics and beyond.”

The group going to the US Open Championships in Philadelphia were successful at the Olympic Trials winning six New Zealand titles between them with North Shore’s Samantha Richter also setting a new national record.

The team to the Junior Pan Pacific Championships s is headed by outstanding Canterbury swimmers Sophia Batchelor (AquaGym) and Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury) who won four national titles between them with Batchelor finishing just 1/100th of a second outside of qualifying for London.

Swimming New Zealand will also send a strong team to next month’s Trans Tasman Series against Australia with three meets over six days in Canberra, Wagga Wagga and Melbourne for the leading age group swimmers on both sides of the Tasman.

The teams are:

US Open Championships: 7-11 August

Mitchell Donaldson (North Shore, HPC), Kurt Bassett (Laser Mt Eden), Shaun Burnett (North Shore, HPC), Nathan Capp (Greerton, HPC), Samantha Richter (North Shore), Nielsen Varoy (Roskill),

Coach: Thomas Ansorg (North Shore)

Junior Pan Pacific Championships, Hawaii: 23-27 August

Jeffrey Arona-Tuifanae (Howick Pakuranga), Sophia Batchelor (AquaGym), Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury), Corey Main (Howick Pakuranga), Michael Mincham (Waterhole), Emma Robinson (Capital, WRHPC).

Open Water:  Grace Sommerville (Ashburton), Ben Ruback (Masterton).

Coaches: Leanne Speechley (AquaGym), Philip Rush (SNZ Open Water & Team Manager).

Trans Tasman: 1-7 July

Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Melbourne

Male: Samuel Perry (St Peters, Waikato), Kyle Barnes (Capital, Wellington), Matthew Hutchins (Wharenui, Canterbury), Bayley Main (Howick Pakuranga, Counties Manakau), Julian Weir (AquaBladz, Taranaki), William Campbell (Wharenui, Canterbury), Julian Layton (Greendale, Hawkes Bay), Carter Edgecombe (Fairfield, Waikato), George Schroder (Aquagym, Canterbury), Robert McDonald (Collegiate, Southland), Cameron Blair (KiwiWest, Manawatu), Ben Walsh (Porirua City Aquatics, Wellington).

Female: Liana Smith (Howick Pakuranga, Counties Manakau), Naomi Smit (North Shore, Auckland) Brittany Tucker (QEII, Canterbury), Georgia Marris (United, Auckland), Monique King (North Shore, Auckland), Emily McGill (Capital, Wellington), Melita Raravula (Northwave, Northland), Hayley Edmond (North Shore, Auckland), Rima Williams (Laser Mt Eden, Auckland) , Caroline Baddock (Laser Mt Eden, Auckland), JoMari Meyer (Greendale, Hawkes Bay), Caitlin Rennell (Jasi, Canterbury).

Coaches: Noel Hardgrave-Booth (Greendale, Hawkes Bay), Glen Hamblyn (Laser Mt Eden, Auckland), Martin Harris (Wharenui, Canterbury). Team Manager: Jude Fawcett (Wellington). Officials: Yvonne Voss (Tokoroa), Minoo Ghadiali (Manurewa). SNZ Youth & Age Manager: Philip Rush (Swimming New Zealand).