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Stanley joins NZ world champs qualifiers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/04/2017

Kiwi swimmer Matt Stanley was left irked despite achieving his target on day two of the New Zealand Open championships in Auckland.

Rio Olympian Stanley booked his ticket for the world championships with a qualifying performance in the 200m freestyle.

It came in the morning heats when he clocked one minute 47.55 seconds, 0.2sec under the mark needed to compete in Budapest in July.

Queensland-based Stanley, 25, wanted better again in the finals but instead clocked 1:48.53, finishing in a tie with Rio team-mate Matthew Hutchins.

"This morning was a race well put together but I couldn't replicate it tonight," Stanley said.

"I am not sure if after I qualified in the morning I found it tough to back-up without having the rabbit to chase. It is something I need to work at."

Stanley joins Helena Gasson, Corey Main and Emma Robinson in qualifying for Budapest.

He says his shift to a new programme at Bond University had paid off, working alongside a number of rising Australian swimmers.

It was another close miss for Hutchins, the University of Wisconsin-based freestyler who will look to his favoured 1500m distance later in the week to qualify for the worlds.

Earlier, Olympian Bradlee Ashby set a personal best but was less than a second outside the qualifying mark for the 400m individual medley, clocking 4:18.68.

Ashby, the 200m individual medley record holder, was under the qualifying time and New Zealand record for 300m but faded slightly with a 1:01.67 split for the 100m freestyle leg.

Gasson could not replicate her hot form on the first night, finishing just outside the qualifying mark in the women's 100m butterfly. She won impressively in 59.43.

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