4 Apr 2011

Three qualify for swimming World Championships

6:45 am on 4 April 2011

The United States based Lauren Boyle surprised even herself to smash a national record and qualify for the world championships on the opening night of the New Zealand national Championships in Auckland.

Boyle joins fellow Commonwealth Games swimmers Natalie Wiegersma and Glenn Snyders as qualifiers for July's worlds in Shanghai in a strong opening night.

The 23-year-old Boyle not only smashed the qualifying time but her 4:07.61 was nearly two seconds inside her national record set in Delhi.

Wiegersma was the first swimmer to book her place in the team for the FINA World Championships, winning the 200 metre individual medley in 2:15.02 ahead of North Shore's Francis sisters Grace and Chloe.

The 21-year-old was in front all the way and while she qualified she was disappointed to be two seconds outside her national record set at the Commonwealth Games.

Snyders snuck under the qualifying time in the men's 100 metre breaststroke in 1:01.49, just 8/100ths under the qualifying time for the Delhi silver medallist.

One of the swims of the night went to 15 year old Cantabrian Sophia Batchelor who won the women's 100m butterfly in a stunning 59.54 to become the first New Zealander under the one minute mark.

It broke Liz Coster's old national mark and was only 19/100ths of a second outside the qualifying time for Shanghai.

In other finals Delhi backstroke medallist Daniel Bell upset his rivals to win the 50 metre butterfly in 24.12 while Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (Taranaki Swim Club) impressed in winning the 400 metre freestyle in 3:51.27.