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Records tumble at swimming nationals

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/04/2017

Rio Olympian Bradlee Ashby has set a New Zealand record 200m individual medley record at the swimming nationals in Auckland.

The 21-year old's one-minute 59.54-second effort also bettered the qualifying time for the world championships in Budapest later this year.

Ashby broke his own New Zealand record by 0.2sec, and showed his hard work with coach Jerry Olszewski was paying dividends.

"Something I have been working on with my coach is that back-end freestyle with the kick coming in on the way home, and the way I controlled it set me up well for it," Ashby said.

"Yesterday was a big day with a 200m free and a big PB in the 400 medley after several years of not swimming it. So to back-up tonight is incredible."

Helena Gasson was another to duck under the qualifying time for Budapest.

She won the women's 200m individual medley in 2:13.14, pushing home strongly in the freestyle leg to go under the qualifying time for Budapest by 0.3sec.

"I just gave it everything I had. I didn't want to leave anything behind. I am so happy to do a qualifying time in an Olympic event," Gasson said.

"I knew I had to nail the freestyle part of the leg and luckily I managed to hit it how we planned."

Another highlight was the final of the men's 50m freestyle after Sam Perry equalled the qualifying time of 22.47 in the morning heats with Daniel Hunter just .01sec of a second behind.

Hunter edged inside the qualifying time by .08sec in winning the final ahead of Perry on 22.69.

Eight swimmers have now qualified in nine events for the July world championships .

In para-swimming action, world and Olympic champion Sophie Pascoe continued her impressive form after just returning to the pool last month to win the 50m freestyle in 28.35.

Paralympic gold medallist Nikita Howarth was best in the 200m individual medley in 3:02.62, the event that she won in Rio.

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