Daniel Hunter Tops 200 Free Field At New Zealand Short Course Championships

Daniel Hunter celebrates qualifying for the Short Course World Champs, 200m Free, during the Swimming NZ, National Short Course Championships, Owen Glenn Noational Aquatic Center, Auckland, New Zealand, Sunday 2 October 2016. Photo: Simon Watts/www.bwmedia.co.nz
Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts, BW Media

By Dave Crampton.

New Zealand freestyler Daniel Hunter may have missed qualifying for the Rio Olympics by just 0.04 seconds in the 50m freestyle, but he has qualified for the FINA World Short Course championships in the 200m event, half a second inside the qualifying standard.

Hunter, 22, clocked 1:45.70 in a solid swim in his first event at the New Zealand Short Course championships in Auckland, which started yesterday. The champs double as a qualifying meet for the World Short Course champs in Canada in December.    

Hunter said his Rio disappointment had only spurred him on.

“You have to use the frustration to push it and make sure you are on top of your game for the next season and not dropping off.”

Hunter’s other freestyle events are later in the week. He has focused on improving the latter half of his favoured 100m event, with his coach Jana Wilkitzki pushing him to achieve this by lengthening to the 200m.

“I’m fine with the front end speed, it’s the back end speed that needs a lot of work,” Hunter said. “We think that’s where it is going to come from, training that 200m (but) to qualify for the 200m for the world championship is pretty awesome and a lot of pressure off the rest of the week. Now I can just focus on enjoying it.”

Bronagh Ryan converted her top qualifying effort to victory in the women’s 100m breaststroke final in a New Zealand Open record of 1:07.91, taking 0.2s off the mark held by Natasha Lloyd set at last year’s champs. Lloyd is currently on scholarship at Auburn University.

The champs had straight age-finals in the morning with the top 40 swimming in open A,B,C and D finals later in the day, with all ages  13 and over represented in finals.

George Schroder, a member of the Swimming New Zealand high performance centre, took out the 100m breaststroke in a personal best 1:00.05, just 0.6s outside the world championship qualifying time.

Josh Gilbert, 15, who set a 14 years NAG record in last year’s 200m event, secured an A final in the 400 IM, and won his 100m breaststroke B final. Bronson Lloyd, 13, in his first national short course championships, won his 400 IM by more than nine seconds, clocking 4:50.47, and won silvers in his other two events.      

In the battle of the 2008 Beijing Olympians, William Benson prevailed over Orinoco Fa’amausili-Banse by just 0.02 seconds in the 50m butterfly, winning in 24.10s.

The women’s event saw Australian visitor Emily Washer win in 26.64 with the national title going to Rio Olympian Helena Gasson in 26.81 ahead of Rebekah Bradley.

The championships continue until Thursday.

Day 1 Results:

Men 200m freestyle: Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 1:45.70 (FINA World Short Course Qualifying time), 1; Michael Mincham (United) 1:48.36, 2; Julian Weir (Aquabladz New Plymouth) 1:48.97, 3.

Women 200m freestyle: Caroline Baddock (North Shore) 2:00.62, 1; Chelsey Edwards (SwimZone) 2:00.97, 2; Carina Doyle (North Shore) 2:01.18, 3.

Men 100m breaststroke: George Schroder (Hokitika) 1:00.05, 1; Erik Kahr (United) 1:00.62, 2; Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 1:00.96, 3.

Women 100m breaststroke: Bronagh Ryan (Porirua City) 1:07.91 (NZ Record), 1; Chloe Francis (Parnell) 1:09.81, 2; Kendall Reidy (Central Hawkes Bay) 1:09.95, 3.

Men 50m butterfly: William Benson (Heretaunga Sundevils) 24.10, 1; Orinoco Fa’amausili Banse (Roskill) 24.12, 2; Andrew Trembath (Neptune) 24.47, 3.

Women 50m butterfly: Helena Gasson (North Shore) 26.81, 1; Rebekah Bradley (United) 27.10, 2; Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 27.47, 3.

Men 400m individual medley: Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 4:15.58, 1; Hamish Trlin (Capital) 4:20.47, 2; Cameron Blair (Kiwi West) 4:24.34, 3.

Para-Swimming Results:

Men 200m freestyle: David Beck (Mt Albert Grammar) 2:17.80, 1; George Adam (North Canterbury) 2:31.60, 2.

Women 200m freestyle: Jane Fox (Orca) 2:46.29, 1.

Men 100m breaststroke: Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 1:24.05, 1; Ieuan Edwards (Selwyn) 1:41.89, 2.

Women 100m breaststroke: Olivia Upston (Parnell) 1:41.65, 1; Ella Benn (Waitaha) 1:47.12, 2.

Men 50m butterfly: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 28.91, 1; Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 30.76, 2; George Adam (North Canterbury) 33.63, 3.

Women 50m butterfly: Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 36.14, 1; Ella Benn (Waitaha) 40.65, 2.

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