18-year-old Lewis Clareburt has been added to New Zealand’s swimming roster for the 2018 Commonwealth Games taking place in Gold Coast, Australia in April. The Wellington Capital Swim Club athlete will join the likes of four 2016 Olympic swimmers in Corey Main, Bradlee Ashby, Matthew Stanley Helena Gasson, all of whom were among the 19 originally named for the Commonwealth Games back in December.
Clareburt has been selected to represent his nation within the 400m IM, an event in which he medaled at the 2017 New Zealand Age Group Championships. At that same meet, among his total 8 gold medals, Clarburt equaled Danyon Loader’s 25-year-old record in the 200m freestyle. Clareburt also won three gold and four silver medals at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas and capped off the year by winning Junior Sportsman of the year at the Aotearoa Māori Sports Awards.
The teen missed automatically qualifying for the Gold Coast in the 400m IM by just .1 seconds, but was told by Swimming New Zealand that he might have a chance of making it in February. As such, Clareburt said, “I pretty much had to train as if I was going because from February there is only a couple of months of training to go and you won’t be prepared if you start training then.”
He told Stuff NZ, “If I do a really good time I’ll put myself up there to make a final and hopefully go from there. I don’t want to say too much at the moment because I don’t want to burst my bubble.”
Swimming New Zealand CEO Steve Johns said of Clareburt’s addition to the squad, “Lewis has demonstrated the ability to perform with distinction at the Games and deserves the opportunity to represent New Zealand at this pinnacle event.
“Lewis joins a strong New Zealand team and we look forward to seeing them all compete on the Gold Coast in April.”
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith stated, “Lewis is a very exciting young talent and has benefited from the performance pathway provided by the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017. We are excited to have Lewis in the team and can’t wait to watch him compete.”