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The start of something extraordinary

NSW Swimming Championships - Day 1 Wrap

Swimming High Performance breaststroker Glenn Snyders picked up where he left off last year with a winning performance across the Tasman tonight.

Snyders took out the men’s 50m breaststroke on the opening night of the New South Wales Championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

Fellow Commonwealth Games teammates Lauren Boyle (HPC North Shore) and Wellington’s Gareth Kean also starred with second placings in the finals of the 800m freestyle and 50m backstroke respectively.

Six New Zealand swimmers finished on the podium at the championships tonight among the 66 kiwi swimmers from 17 clubs competing at the three-day meet that has attracted more than 1300 competitors.

The championships provide the first significant competition of the year as the kiwi swimmers prepare for next month’s Olympic Trials as the springboard to London 2012.

Snyders, 24, coached by Mark Regan, was the top qualifier just 0.3s outside his national record in 27.68 in his heat, which is the fastest time in the world this year – given it is just 41 days old.

While he could not better that in the final, he was the only swimmer under the 28 second barrier, heading off former world record-holder Brenton Rickard (Australia) and Auckland’s promising luke Westgaard (Roskill Magic) who was an impressive third.

Kean, 20, was edged by Australian 22-year old Daniel Arnamnart in the final of the 50m backstroke. The pair were former stars at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships., with the Australian winning tonight in 25.09.

Kean, coached by Gary Hurring, clocked 25.28, which was just 4/100ths of a second outside Daniel Bell’s New Zealand record while New Zealand’s 200m specialist Kurt Bassett was sixth in 25.97.

Boyle had to settle for second place in the 800m timed final in 8:32.45 behind talented Australian teenager Remy Fairweather.

Three other New Zealand swimmers got on the podium tonight.

The experienced Melissa Ingram (HPC North Shore) and promising Matt Stanley (HPC Matamata) grabbed bronze medals. Ingram was timed at a solid 2:12.66 in the women’s 200m backstroke, where she has already gone under the Olympic qualifying time at last year’s world championships.

Stanley, like Ingram coached by Scott Talbot, was an improving third in the men’s 400m freestyle 3:50.81, three seconds outside the Olympic qualifying time.

Southland’s Natalie Wiegersma was third in the 400m individual medley in 4:44.66, like Stanley three seconds outside the time for London.

Wiegersma, Coached by Jeremy Duncan, finished behind Australians Samantha Hamill and world record holder Stephanie Rice, like the kiwi coming back after serious shoulder injuries.

The championships conclude on Sunday.

Day 1 finals results:

400m freestyle: Park Tae Hwan (KOR) 3:45:57, 1; David McKeon (AUS) 3:48:20, 2; Matthew Stanley (HPC Matamata) 3:50:81, 3.

200m butterfly: Nick D’Arcy (AUS) 1:56.90, 1; Chris Wright (AUS) 1:57.34, 2; Daniel Tranter (AS) 2:00.35, 3. Also: Shaun Burnett (HPC North shore) 2:01.63, 9.

50m breaststroke: Glenn Snyders (HPC North Shore) 27.99, 1; Brenton Rickard (AUS) 28.20, 2; Luke Westgaard (Roskill Magic) 28:81, 3.

400m individual medley: Samantha Hamill (AUS) 4:40.21, 1; Stephanie Rice (AUS) 4:42.29, 2; Natalie Wiegersma (Waverley) 4:46.66, 3. Also: Natasha Hind (HPC Capital) 4:51.29, 5; Samantha Lucie-Smith (WRHPC Capital) 4:55.78, 9.

200m backstroke: Belinda Hocking (AUS) 2:09.04, 1; Meagen Nay (AUS) 2:09.14, 2; Melissa Ingram (HPC North Shore) 2:12.66, 3. Also: Jessie Blundell (HPC North Shore) 2:13.07, 4; Penny Marshall (HPC North Shore) 2:14.44, 6; Sophie Batchelor (AquaGym) 2:16.48, 8.

50m backstroke: Daniel Arnamnart (AUS) 25.09, 1; Gareth Kean (WRHPC Capital) 25.29, 2; Hayden Stoeckel (AUS) 25.46, 3. Also: Kurt Bassett (HPC Laser Mt Eden) 25.97, 5.

800m freestyle: Remy Fairweather (AUS) 8:31.69, 1; Lauren Boyle (HPC North Shore) 8:32.45, 2; Jessica Ashwood (AUS) 8:36.73, 3.