Erika Fairweather Breaks The NZ 200 Freestyle Record Twice In One Day, Ends With 1:55.44


On day two of the 2023 NZ Swimming Championships, Erika Fairweather stormed to victory in the women’s 200 freestyle with a 1:55.44 to break the New Zealand record. She actually swam the national record twice at this meet, first hitting a 1:55.63 during prelims to beat the 1:56.73 she swam at the 2023 South Island Championships in March.

With this swim Fairweather cleared the 1:58.66 FINA A standard by several seconds, adding her name to the World Championships roster for this summer. Fairweather swam her way to a semi-final in this event a Tokyo 2020 with a 1:57.33 but didn’t make the final, hitting a 1:59.14 in round two. She raced in again last summer at the 2022 World Championships and posted a 1:58.26 during prelims and a 1:57.43 for 11th overall in the semi-finals.

No one else in the 200 freestyle got under the FINA A standard as Eve Thomas and Caitlin Deans finished in 2nd and 3rd, respectively, with a 1:59.07 and a 2:01.05. Those two women qualified for the World Championships on day one of the meet when she swam under the qualifying cut in the 1500 freestyle.

Two more New Zealand records fell during the second finals session at this meet as Monique Wieruszowski delivered a 1:08.74 100 breaststroke and Hazel Ouwehand a 26.12 in the 50 butterfly. For Wieruszowski, that time beat out Annabelle Carey‘s 2006 national record in the event of 1:09.26. The time makes her the first person from the nation under 1:09 in this event but was still a bit shy of the FINA A cut of 1:07.35.

Hazel Ouwehand’s 50 butterfly cut was, however, under the FINA A standard in that event of 26.32. She took out Helena Gasson’s 2022 record from the Commonwealth Games of 26.24. Gasson was present in the final and hit a 26.51 for the silver medal, followed by Aimee Crosbie with a 27.07.

There were no national records in the men’s events on day two of this meet but Andrew Jeffcoat got close with his 53.57 100 backstroke. With that swim, he neared the 53.32 that Gareth Kean swam in 2012 at the New Zealand Championships. Jeffcoat swam a 53.73 in prelims and started this meet with a lifetime best of 54.01 from the 2022 Commonwealth Games. He will have a shot at further improving upon his time at World Championships this summer as he got under the qualifying time of 54.03 here.

The next two men to finish after Jeffcoat were both a bit more than a second off the FINA A cut with Zac Dell touching in a 55.27 and Kane Follows following with a 55.31.

Other event winners on day two of the 2023 NZ Swimming Championships, all who were a bit off the FINA A cut, include Milan Glintmeyer in the women’s 100 back (1:02.22), Lewis Clareburt in the men’s 200 freestyle (1:48.15), and Josh Gilbert in the men’s 100 breaststroke (1:01.20).

Asher Smith-Franklin won the multi-class 50 butterfly by dipping under 28 seconds in a 27.94 and Sophie Pascoe Dame took gold in the women’s version of that event with a 29.37. Cameron Leslie won the men’s 200 freestyle multi-class event with a 3:04.25 while Asher Smith-Franklin took home another medal by hitting a 2:08.41 for silver. In the women’s multi-class 200 freestyle, Ella Benn swam a 2:29.83 for the gold medal, Lili-Fox Mason earned silver (2:24.66), and Rylee Sayer took bronze (2:29.06).

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6 months ago

Gray also went 23.27 (23.4 final) in 50 FL to go the A time and equal his NZR.

Scuncan Dott v2
6 months ago

Could have 5 Women sub 4 in the Paris 400 free final (Mcintosh, Titmus, Ledecky, Bingjie and Fairweather)

Reply to  Scuncan Dott v2
6 months ago

Fairly likely we’ll have a new name or two pop up with the way the event is advancing too

Reply to  Dee
6 months ago

For me the more interesting discussion is what you’ll need to swim to make the final.

Reply to  jamie5678
6 months ago

403 .5