17 May 2022

NZ's top swimmer hit by Covid ahead of world champs

7:36 am on 17 May 2022

Olympic swimming finalist Lewis Clareburt has had his preparations for next month's World Championships hit by Covid-19, the latest hurdle in what at times has been a difficult year for him.

Lewis Clareburt, NZ Swim Camps, 2022

Lewis Clareburt Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Clareburt is currently laid low by the coronavirus and hasn't been in the pool for a week.

The 22 year old, who won a bronze medal in the 400 medley at the 2019 world champs, was just about to finish a block of training, when he was forced out of the pool.

"It's a big disruption having a week out of the pool, it's not ideal, but it's not life threatening for the world champs so I'm confident a week out won't stop me swimming fast in Budapest."

"We were in the fourth (and last) week of a block of heavy training, so it was an important week."

He hopes to be back in the pool later this week, but has to go through a strict health and safety check before getting the go ahead.

"Swimming is a high cardiovascular sport and that's where Covid hits you the hardest so I'll have to see a sports doctor to make sure that I'm safe to get back in the pool and won't risk getting long Covid or suffer any other long standing issues."

Clareburt is still keen to swim all the events he'd planned to at the world champs including the 200 and 400 individual medley and one of the mixed relays.

He'll have a couple of weeks in Slovakia before the World Champs and will then stay in Europe before the Birmingham Commonwealth Games at the end of July.

The world champs will be his first international competition since the Olympics.

That lack of top level competition has been difficult.

"It would have been awesome to just go to Australia to train with those guys, but it's been a quiet 10 months.

"It's tough trying to find the motivation to train when you can't actually see anything on the horizon.

Lewis Clareburt 200m Individual Medley semifinals Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Tokyo, Japan, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Thursday 29 July 2021.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021

There was a few months there when I was pretty flat and didn't really enjoy turning up to the pool and working hard.

"However I've had a good couple of months of training leading up to world champs and Commonwealth Games so it's made me more excited to go away.

"I'm just excited for the rest of this year, it's all about racing and a time to travel again, hopefully have a bit of fun because that's what helps you to train at the end of the day.

New Zealand swim team for Birmingham Commonwealth Games:

  • Lewis Clareburt - Men's 400 Individual Medley, Men's 200 Individual Medley. Permission to Start in the Men's 200 Freestyle
  • Erika Fairweather - Women's 400 Freestyle. Permission to Start in the Women's 200 Freestyle and Women's 100 Freestyle
  • Helena Gasson - Women's 200 Individual Medley. Permission to start in the Women's 200 Fly, Women's 100 Fly, Women's 50 Fly and Women's 50 Backstroke
  • Cameron Gray - Men's 50 Fly. Permission to start in the Men's 200 Freestyle, Men's 100 Freestyle, Men's 50 Freestyle and Men's 50 Backstroke
  • Andrew Jeffcoat - Men's 100 Backstroke, Men's 50 Backstroke. Permission to start in the Men's 200 Backstroke
  • Tupou Neiufi - 100 Backstroke S9 (S8), permission to start in 100 Freestyle S9 (S8)*
  • Hazel Ouwehand - Women's 50 Fly. Permission to start in the Women's 100 Backstroke, Women's 50 Backstroke and Women's 100 Fly
  • Dame Sophie Pascoe - Women's 100 Freestyle S9*
  • Eve Thomas - Women's 800 Freestyle. Permission to start in the Women's 400 Freestyle and Women's 200 Freestyle
  • Mya Rasmussen - Women's 400 Individual Medley. Permission to start in the Women's 200 Individual Medley and the Women's 200 Breaststroke
  • Jesse Reynolds - Men's 100 Backstroke S9, permission to start in 100 Fly S10 (S9) and 100 Breaststroke SB8*
  • Joshua Willmer - Men's 100 Breaststroke SB8, permission to start in 100 Backstroke S9 and 100 Fly S9*