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The start of something extraordinary

Para-Swimmers maintain outstanding meet

Six-times Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Pascoe led a successful morning session for the Para-Swimmers at the New Zealand Open Swimming Championships in Henderson as a further three world qualification times were met.

Pascoe (QEII) comfortably banked the IPC World Championship standard for the S10 women’s freestyle in 1:01.14 to qualify for her fourth event of the meet. Bolstering the Para-Swimmers challenge was Nikita Howarth (Te Awamutu), who secured qualification in her second event this week with a 36.54 clocking in the S7 women’s 50m butterfly.

Meanwhile, World and Paralympic 150m individual medley champion Cameron Leslie (Laser Mt Eden) became the seventh Para-Swimmer of the week to qualify for the IPC World Championships in Glasgow in July recording 2:33.30 for his speciality event.

In the able-bodied events, Corey Main (Howick Pakuranga) is on track for a backstroke double as he topped the qualifiers in the 200m event registering a time of 2.00.25. The Howick Pakuranga swimmer looked to have plenty in reserve ahead of tonight’s medal race, where he will seek to meet the World Championships qualification time of 1:59.19 some 48 hours after banking both the FINA standard and national title in the 100m backstroke.

Glenn Snyders’ bid to complete a breaststroke treble appears in good order after he led the qualifiers of the 200m event in 2:14.45. The US-based swimmer has already pocketed gold medals and secured FINA A standard times in the 50m and 100m breaststroke so far this week and the evergreen 28-year-old will be chasing the World Championships qualification time of 2:11.71 in tonight’s final.

Commonwealth Games representative Laura Quilter had a busy but successful morning session at the West Wave Aquatic Centre topping the qualifiers in both the women’s 100m freestyle (56.61) and women’s 50m butterfly (28.13).

Howick Pakuranga club-mates Alex Hancock (54.20) and Daniel Hunter (22.80) led the qualifiers for tonight’s 100m butterfly final and 50m freestyle finals, respectively.

Australia’s Commonwealth 200m breaststroke champion Taylor McKeown put on a masterclass in her specialist event. The Queensland-based swimmer banked a time of 2:27.42 to dip below the World Championships standard and will be looking to attack her season’s best and eighth best time in the world this year of 2:23.77 in tonight’s final. 

Tonight’s finals session starts at 7pm.