The third day of the State New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland was an exciting one that saw the top four men in the 200 freestyle combine for a Commonwealth birth in the relay while Corey Main posted a time in the 100 backstroke which will earn him a ticket to Glasgow.
Mitchell Donaldson won the men’s 200 freestyle in a time of 1:48.80. At the same championship meet last year Donaldson placed seventh and recorded a 1:53.54.
“It’s been a huge refresher moving to Sydney. Plus all the other things like looking after myself has definitely been for the better and I have grown as a person,” Donaldson told New Zealand Swimming.
Last year the 21 year old competed in Barcelona in the 200 IM where he finished 40th.
“I have done a lot of work on the 200m freestyle in the last few months. All season I have been working on the middle 100. The main thing was not to get too excited and go out too fast.”
Donaldson made the move to Sydney last year to work with coach Scott Talbot, a move that has obviously pay dividends and created a winning mindset, “You can’t go into any race racing for second or third, so I went in gunning for gold and it worked out.”
Although Donaldson was quite far off the individual selection standard of 1:47.55, his winning time combined with the next three competitors was strong enough to beat the selection standard for the 4 x 200 freestyle relay. Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (1:49.14), Matthew Stanley (1:49.24) and Steven Kent (1:49.34) combined with Donaldson’s winning time of 1:48.80 put together a relay time of 7:14.12, 1.10 under the selection standard of 7:15.22.
In the preliminaries of the 100 backstroke Corey Main put up the fastest qualifying time of 54.47, beating the selection standard of 54.63, “This morning I was trying to just go out to swim my race and it resulted in going under the trials time which I wasn’t really expecting,” Main said.
Main, who trains at the University of Florida, was not able to improve on his time in the final, but had just enough to finish seven one-hundredths of a second ahead of Kurt Crosland. Main won the event in a time of 54.81 while Crosland collected the silver recording a time of 54.88.
Glenn Snyders made it a clean sweep of the breaststroke events winning the 50 breaststroke in a time of 27.38. Snyders time ties him with Italy’s Mattia Pesce for third in the world rankings.
14 year old Bobbi Gichard continued to impress on the third night of the championships winning the women’s 50 backstroke in a time of 28.98. Gichard’s time broke Naomi Smit’s 2011 the national age group record of 29.72. Her time though was not faster than the 13 year old age group record of 28.14 set by rival Gabrielle Fa’amausili at the 2013 FINA Junior World Championships.
Fa’amausili beat Gichard in the 100 backstroke earlier in the competition, but did not compete in the shorter event.
In the women’s para 50 backstroke Sophie Pascoe set a new world record posting a time of 31.62, beating her own record by 26 one-hundredths of a second.
Winners of additional events included:
- Women’s 200 breaststroke – Abbie Johnston – 2:35.36
- Men’s 400 IM – Nathan Capp – 4:21.54
- Women’s 400 IM – Tash Hind – 4:51.18
- Men’s 100 butterfly – George Eglesfield – 54.80
- Women’s 100 freestyle – Samantha Lucie-Smith – 55.69
Multi-class Paralympic events:
- Men’s 100 backstroke – Jesse Reynolds – 1:09.02
- Men’s 50 breaststroke – Chris Arbuthnott – 37.68
- Men’s 100 butterfly – Jesse Reynolds – 1:07.08
- Women’s 100 freestyle – Mary Fisher – 1:11.61
Full results can be found here