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NZ swimming team named for world champs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/04/2017

Bradlee Ashby. © Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images Bradlee Ashby. A 12-strong New Zealand team to compete at the swimming world championships is one of the biggest and youngest on record.

Swimming NZ expressed delight with the performances of its elite athletes at this week's national championships, allowing it to select an expanded group to race at Budapest in July.

Eight qualified through their performances at the nationals while 2015 double world championship medallist, Lauren Boyle, was selected based on her times set at the Rio Olympics, as she recovers from injury.

The selectors have also elected to field a women's 4x100m medley relay, opening the door for Bobbi Gichard and Natasha Lloyd.

A men's 4x100m freestyle relay team had already qualified.

Taranaki veteran Charlotte Webby is the 12th swimmer, having previously qualified in open water competition.

It is one of the youngest New Zealand teams to a world championship with an average age of 21 years. There are two 17-year-olds in Gichard and former junior world champion Gabrielle Fa'amausili.

The nine swimmers to attain individual qualification in the pool is the highest number since 2005.

Swimming New Zealand head coach Jerry Olszewski was pleased with what he saw in Auckland this week.

"The quality of performances at the national championships was better than expectation and it was very pleasing especially from the young swimmers," Olszewski said.

"Basically, with all of this team and a number who just missed teams, we have a healthy group of swimmers as we prepare for Tokyo 2020 and beyond."

Another group was selected for the World University Games in Taipei in August.

Most of the swimmers from both teams will leave for Flagstaff, Arizona for a month-long stint of training and competition at high altitude.

NZ world championships team: Bradlee Ashby (200m individual medley), Lauren Boyle (400m, 800m freestyle), Gabrielle Fa'amausili (50m freestyle, medley relay), Helena Gasson (50m butterfly, 200m individual medley, medley relay), Bobbi Gichard (medley relay), Daniel Hunter (50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay), Natasha Lloyd (medley relay), Corey Main (200m backstroke, 4x100m freestyle relay), Sam Perry (50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay), Emma Robinson (800m, 1500m freestyle), Matthew Stanley (200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay), Charlotte Webby (open water).

NZ World University Games team: Cornielle Coetzee, Carina Doyle, Jacob Garrod, Matthew Hutchins, Bayley Main, Georgia Marris, Michael Mincham, George Schroder, Julian Weir, Sammy Winward.

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