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NZ relay team qualifies swim world champs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/04/2017

Four swimmers have ducked under 50 seconds at the swimming nationals in Auckland to qualify a men's freestyle relay team for the world championships later this year.

Eight swimmers qualified in 10 individual events, the most qualifiers for a decade, with a women’s 4x100m medley relay joining the men's 100m quartet.

Swimming New Zealand will announce the final team for July's world championships in Budapest on Saturday.

National head coach Jerry Olszewski said he has been pleasantly surprised at the quality of performances.

“Overall the performances have exceeded my expectations. The swimmers within the high performance squad have all moved forward, some significantly,” Olszewski said.

“There are other swimmers that I've been following who have really stood up here and there are some that I did not know who have performed well.”

Olszewski said the most impressive aspect has been the charge of the youth brigade, with a number of young swimmers going under the qualifying standard.

The men’s 100m freestyle final produced arguably the closest and best standard for some years, with a quartet breaking the 50 second mark in the morning heats.

National 200m freestyle champion Matthew Stanley powered home to win in 49.59sec ahead of Daniel Hunter, who was just .03sec back.

Corey Main finished third in 49.72sec, while Sam Perry was fourth in a time of 49.48sec.

In para-swimming action, world and Olympic champion Sophie Pascoe remained unbeaten this week, winning the 100m freestyle in 1min 01.43sec, ahead of Rebecca Dubber and Tupou Neiufi .

Four para-swimmers went under the standard for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Pascoe, 100m freestylers Chris Arbuthnott and Jesse Reynolds, and Olympic gold medallist Nikita Howarth.

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