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The start of something extraordinary

New Zealand swimmers to focus on Rio Olympic campaign

New Zealand's leading swimmers Lauren Boyle and Matthew Stanley will bypass next month's FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha.

Boyle and Stanley won gold and bronze medals respectively at the 2012 FINA Short Course (25m) World Championships. They have withdrawn to focus on their long term build-up for the all-important 2015 season where the (long course) World Championships will provide the key for their 2016 Rio Olympic campaigns.

Swimming New Zealand High Performance Director Luis Villanueva said he and his staff have been in close consultation with the pair for some time and believe their decisions are in their best long term interests.

Stanley has had his recent focus on study and university examinations while Boyle has been engaged on determining her personal coaching plans for next year.

This year Boyle had a stint with Fred Vergnoux, the former head coach of Spain under Villanueva, who coaches one of the Kiwi's key rivals, and in 2013 she was assisted by former Australian and Great British head coach Bill Sweetenham.

"Matt has had other priorities that have compromised his preparations and therefore he is better to focus on the longer term goals and preparations for next year's World Championships in Russia.

"Lauren is looking to achieve something special as an Olympic distance swimmer at the pinnacle of her sporting career to finish on the podium at Rio. This will require quite specific and individual coaching and we are working with her find solutions while still maintaining New Zealand as her main base with some blocks of training overseas when required.

"The challenges of establishing a personal coach has meant that Lauren feels this has compromised some of her build-up.

“As the world champion therefore if she is not in the best shape to win the gold medal again in the 800m freestyle at the upcoming championships in Doha, like Matt, she is wiser to focus on next year which is the very important stepping stone to the 2016 Olympics."

Boyle said she is disappointed to have dropped out of the fight to defend her world title win in Turkey in 2012 but is now focussed on her first major block of training towards her goals in 2015.

New Zealand will be represented by breaststroker Glenn Snyders and distance freestyler Nathan Capp at the short course world championship next month.