Clareburt, Gasson & Thomas Lead The Way On Day 1 Of NZL Championships


  • Monday, April 4th – Saturday, April 9th
  • Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
  • LCM (50m)
  • World Championships/Commonwealth Games Qualifier
  • Entries
  • SwimSwam Preview
  • Results

The 2022 New Zealand Swimming Championships got underway today from Auckland with the likes of national record holders Lewis Clareburt and Helena Gasson in the water.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Swimming New Zealand has adjusted this year’s championships to span 6 days, starting one day earlier than scheduled. This resulted in a warm-up day being removed, while relay races have also been removed from the daily agenda.

These Championships represent a World Championships qualification opportunity for swimmers, although Swimming New Zealand has adopted an ‘open meet’ qualification system. That means any single FINA-approved event during the window can count toward qualification, as long as the swimmer posts a time that meets or dips under the FINA ‘A’ time standards.

Hitting a QT right off the bat was Clareburt in the men’s 400m IM. Although his performance of 4:14.36 tonight is well off his personal best and national record of 4:09.49 produced at the 2020 Olympic Games, the 22-year-old beat the field here by over 10 seconds en route to topping the podium.

Clareburt is also taking on the 200m and 400m free events later on in this program.

Gasson did damage in the women’s 200m IM, hitting a time of 2:12.13 to capture the gold and add her name to consideration for this summer’s biggest elite meets.

In fact, 27-year-old Gasson fell just .01 outside of the Kiwi national record, a mark of 2:12.12 which Natalie Wiegersma logged over a decade ago at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Entering this meet, Gasson’s lifetime best rested at the 2:12.68 she threw down at the New Zealand Olympic Trials. With this performance, Gasson is inching closer to the 2:12 threshold.

Completing a trifecta of qualification time-producing swimmers was Eve Thomas, winner of the women’s 800m free here at Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre.

21-year-old Thomas crushed a new lifetime best of 8:28.65 to just narrowly dip under the QT of 8:37.90 needed for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Prior to this performance, Thomas had never before been under 8:30, owning a career-quickest mark of 8:31.86 from just last month. However, with her swim here, she now becomes New Zealand’s #2 performer all-time in this event, sitting only behind Olympian Lauren Boyle and her national record of 8:17.65.

Although a New Zealander, Thomas trains at St. Peters Western under Dean Boxall, also coach of two-time Olympic gold medalist Ariarne Titmus.

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1 year ago

Eve Thomas is a chip off the old block isn’t she, not too far off mums PB now! Her mother is Sarah Hardcastle, 80s prodigy and legend of British swimming. She came within a whisker of breaking Wickham’s 800 WR in the mid 80s.

1 year ago

Helena Gasson did not qualify for Budapest in the women’s 400m IM by way of her performance at the 2020 Olympic Games. She wasnt at the Olympics.

Big Mac #1
1 year ago

Really solid 800, watch for her as a potential finalist

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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