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The start of something extraordinary

Brilliant Boyle lights up pool in Sydney

Lauren Boyle produced a brilliant display on the first day of the Australian swimming championships in Sydney.

The Commonwealth Games champion clocked 4:03.88 in the heats of the 400m freestyle, the second fastest time in the world this year.

Several New Zealanders are competing in the Australian championships as preparation for the New Zealand championships on 14-17 April, entitled to swim in the morning heats only.

Boyle, training in Queensland, was only 25/100ths of a second outside her New Zealand record set at the London Olympics and a real fillip looking ahead to the national championships which are the trial for the world championships.

She went through the opening 100m under the one minute mark and then produced laps of 1m01s for each 100m in a thoroughly impressive display.

Boyle will compete in the 1500m freestyle today and the 200m freestyle on Sunday before heading to New Zealand.

Of the other New Zealanders, Matt Stanley swam 3:55.63 and Mitchell Donaldson 4:07.14 in heats of the 400m freestyle; Julian Layton went 1:04.90 in the 100m breaststroke and Shaun Burnett 26.03 in the 50m butterfly.

CAPTION: Lauren Boyle in action.