Follows Hits National Record 200 Back, Transom 53.94 In 100 Free On Day 4 Of 2024 NZL Trials


The penultimate night of the 2024 New Zealand Olympic Swimming Trials is in the history books and we only have one more night of action to go.

The session kicked off with the men’s 100 freestyle, where 20-year-old Cameron Gray walked away with gold. Gray hit the wall in a time of 49.02 while former Arizona State Sun Devil Carter Swift (49.39) and 23-year-old Zac Dell (50.07) rounded out the podium. As previously reported, Gray ripped a new national record of 48.26 in the heats to qualify for the Paris Olympics. Swift was notably faster in the morning heats (48.73).

Laticia-Leigh Transom, who swam collegiately in the United States with the USC Trojans, claimed the women’s race in 53.94. Transom is just the second-ever Kiwi to dip under the 54-second barrier. She missed Hayley Palmer’s 2009 national record of 53.91 by just 0.03. Transom was also just a few tenths off the Olympic qualification time of 53.61 but she will likely go to Paris for the 4×200 free relay, as she finished 2nd in that distance earlier in the week. New Zealand is slated to swim the 4×200 free relay at the Paris Olympics but did not qualify in the 4×100 free relay.

The men’s 200 backstroke saw a decade-old national record go down thanks to Kane Follows‘ 1:57.13 clocking. During prelims, the 26-year-old clipped his previous best time of 1:58.80 from April of 2022 with a time of 1:58.66.

After his record-setting swim, Follows stated the following to Swimming New Zealand: “This has been a grind, I’ve missed a lot of teams but I’ve stuck at it, I’ve given so much to the sport and it feels so good to get this result. Sport is a lot of ups and downs but it’s all worth it for this feeling, I’ve really enjoyed this week, racing with my mates and this is the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”

Splits From Follows’ Record Swim:

First 50 27.38
Second 50 57.22 (29.84)
Third 50 1:26.83 (29.61)
Final 50 1:57.13 (30.30)

Helena Gasson secured gold in the women’s race, as she touched 1st with a time of 2:11.66. Gasson fell a bit shy of the Olympic standard time of 2:10.39 but doubled up on backstroke wins after winning the 100 earlier in the week.

Lewis Clareburt, who posted a new national record in yesterday’s 400 freestyle final, was quite busy on the night. He finished 2nd to Follows in the 200 back (1:58.79) before grabbing a gold of his own in the 200 fly (1:57.06). He was off the Paris mandated time of 1:55.78, but fear not, as he’s already pre-qualified for the Olympics in the 400 IM.

18-year-old Neve Tassicker finished with a time of 2:18.68 to win the women’s 200 fly distance, with national record holder Gasson notably absent from the field, as she opted for the 200 back instead.

Action ended with the mixed 4×100 freestyle relay, which saw another national record go down. Club 37’s quartet of Carter Swift (48.66), Lewis Clareburt (48.59), Laticia-Leigh Transom (53.44), and Eva Allen (57.04) notched a time of 3:27.73 to torch the previous mark of 3:27.91 from the 2022 World Championships. Swift’s lead-off leg of 48.66 was significantly faster than the 49.39 time that he posted in the individual final earlier in the night.

New Zealand Olympic Qualifiers Through Day Four:


  • Events that were pre-qualified at the 2024 World Championships are italicized. Events qualified at this Olympic Trials meet are in bold.
  • Relay qualifiers are not yet included in the above roster, as they are not official.

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