21 Aug 2010

Bronze medal for NZ at Pan Pacific champs

5:16 am on 21 August 2010

The New Zealand swimmer Emily Thomas has claimed a bronze medal in the 50 metres backstroke at the Pan Pacific championships in California.

Thomas finished third equal behind Australia's first gold medalist Sophi Edington and Aya Terakawa of Japan.

She says she thought it was a bit slow for third before realising Fabiola Molina of Brazil and the USA's Rachel Bootsma were also on 28.44 seconds.

Thomas says she's a little disappointed she didn't break her national record but is still stoked.

Her swim was an early birthday present - Thomas turns 20 on Sunday - and she's looking like a medal contender at the Comonwealth Games

It sparked a good night for the small New Zealand squad with Natalie Wiegersma fifth in the 400 individual medley A final and Hayley Palmer eighth in the 100 freestyle.

And the women's 4x200m freestyle team set a new national record, going under eight minutes for the first time in finishing fifth.

In B finals Glenn Snyders was second in the 100 breastroke, while Daniel Bell and Gareth Kean were third and sixth in 50 backstroke.