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Kiwi swimmers set sights on world champs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/03/2017

Motivation won't be in short supply for New Zealand's premier swimmers at the national open championships in Auckland.

Qualifying times for the world championships will be in the sights of a handful at the five-day meet starting on Monday, while others will target qualifying for the world para-swimming championships, World University Games and the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Six of the eight pool swimmers who competed without success at last year's Rio Olympics will have the July world championships in Budapest as a target.

That group comprises Bradlee Ashby and Helena Gasson, Gold Coast-based pair Matt Stanley and Emma Robinson and US-based duo Matt Hutchins and Corey Main.

Not back from Rio are retired veteran Glenn Snyders and New Zealand's premier swimmer Lauren Boyle.

Boyle has received dispensation from Swimming NZ to put forward her times from Rio to qualify for Budapest, as she recovers from injury.

Main, Robinson and Ashby have already gone under world championship qualifying times, along with Matt Stanley, Daniel Hunter and Gabrielle Fa'amausili.

New SNZ head coach Jerry Olszewski is looking forward to the championships, which he admits will provide him with some important information.

"It is a bit like walking into the fog for me. It is a new experience and for the high performance swimmers in particular, the first time under this spotlight," Olszewski said.

"I know this squad has worked really hard and now we will see how they respond to the taper and to competition.

"Across the board I am looking for swimmers to progress towards their own goals - best times, qualifying times for the Youth Commonwealths, to the World University Games or the World Championships."

Rio Paralympic standouts Sophie Pascoe and Nikita Howarth headline the para-swimmers who will compete largely in 50m and 100m sprint events.

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