9 Apr 2011

Two more qualify for July's swimming World Champs

2:10 pm on 9 April 2011

Experience and youth were to the fore on the final night of the New Zealand National Swimming Championships in Auckland with titleholder Melissa Ingram taking out the women's 200 metres backstroke and 15-year-old Sophia Batchelor finishing second to qualify for July's FINA World Championships in Shanghai.

The 25-year-old Ingram, the most experienced swimmer in the country, saved her best until last with a well measured performance to clock 2:10.38, more than two seconds under the qualifying time.

Cantabrian Batchelor clung onto the heels of Ingram with a superbly judged effort to clock a personal best 2:11.72 and book her spot in the team for Shanghai.

Batchelor says she was lost for words with the qualifying swim on the back of a difficult build-up caused by the earthquake in Christchurch which forced the closure of her club pool and QEII, while the family also suffered with extensive damage to their home.

Taranaki's Dylan Dunlop-Barrett completed an impressive clean sweep of the distance freestyle events, adding the 1500 metres title to the 400 metres and 800 metres won earlier in the week.

There are 10 swimmers - seven individuals and one relay team - to go under the qualifying standards with the team for the World Championships to be announced at the Swimming New Zealand Awards function on Saturday night.