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Pan Pacific Swimming Championships - Day 1 Heats

Waikato swimmer Matthew Stanley has earned a place in the A final for the first night of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast tonight.

Stanley, a member of Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance Centre, clocked 1:48.74 to grab the final spot in the field for the A final as swimmers encountered windy and chilly conditions in the new outdoor facility at Southport.

He will join Lauren Boyle in tonight’s A finals, when she contests the fastest heat of the 800m freestyle.

Also through to the evening programme in the B finals tonight are Samantha Lucie-Smith in the women’s 200m freestyle, Steven Kent and Dylan Dunlop-Barrett in the men’s 200m freestyle, Corey Main in the 100m backstroke and Samantha Lee in the 200m butterfly.

Stanley (1:48.74) started strongly in the final heat of the 200m freestyle going through the 100m in 52.79s, finding the conditions challenging in the back half.

“I qualified that’s the main thing although the swim was not as good as I had wanted. It was tough out there with windy conditions although it’s the same for everyone,” Stanley said. “I am pleased to have the opportunity for another crack at the best tonight.”

Kent produced a personal best 1:49.00 while Dunlop-Barrett (1:50.01) went faster than in the Commonwealth Games to earn an evening swim.

Lucie-Smith battled first-swim nerves today, going through the 100m in 58.89s on the way to 2:00.52 to make the B final, just 35/100ths of a second off the A final.

“I found that hard. I always find the first swim of any meet tough but here it was my key event. But I have a chance to swim it again tonight,” Lucie-Smith said.

Main went 55.36 which was a second outside his time at Glasgow in the 100m backstroke while Lee went 2:13.85 in the 200m butterfly.

The quadrennial Pan Pacific Championships is a five-day meet with full strength teams from USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, the rest of the Pacific and other non-European nations.

The heats begin at 10am local time and finals from 7pm from tonight until Sunday, with the 10km open water swim in the Southport Marina on Monday.