New Zealand Open: 15-Year-Old Erika Fairweather Qualifies For World C’ships


On day 3 of the 2019 New Zealand Open Championships, 15-year-old Erika Fairweather crushed a big-time personal best in the women’s 400m free to race her way to gold.

After casually clocking a morning swim of 4:16.86 in the heats, the Neptune swimmer unleashed the first sub-4:10 performance of her young career, hitting the wall in a mighty 4:09.33 to top the podium tonight in Auckland.

Entering these NZ Championships, Fairweather’s personal best rested at the 4:12.10 the teen produced just earlier this year at the NZ Age Championships. However, with her performance tonight Fairweather chopped that mark to bits and logged a new New Zealand 15 Years Age Record in the women’s 400m free.

Additionally, Fairweather outright qualifies for the World Championships in Gwangju next month, with her outing dipping under the 4:10.57 FINA A cut.

As for her performance, the relentlessly smiling Fairweather said, “I’m so stoked, I did not expect to go that time!

“I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me and believed in me.”

The teen was highlighted on SwimSwam’s Top 20 New Zealanders Under 20 to watch.

Fairweather now checks-in as the 7th fastest 18&U in the world this season. For additional perspective, Fairweather’s time would take over the 8th slot among the top 15-16-year-old Americans of all-time in this event.

400 Freestyle LCM Female
1 4:03.29 LI, Bingjie CHN 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series #2 – Des Moines, USA 03/07/2019
2 4:03.77 Wang, Jianjiahe CHN 2019 Chinese Nats Qingdao CHN 03/24/2019
3 4:05.12 Kesely, Ajna HUN 2019 Hungarian Nats Debrecen HUN 03/27/2019
4 4:06.57 PALLISTER, LANI AUS 2019 AUS World Champ Trials Brisbane AUS 06/09/2019
5 4:08.37 Namba, Miyu JPN 2019 Japan Open Tokyo JPN 05/30/2019
6 4:09.11 O’Croinin, Emma CAN 2019 Canadian Trials Toronto CAN 04/03/2019
7 4:09.33 FAIRWEATHER, ERIKA 2019 NZ Open Championships

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the Katie Ledecky of New Zealand

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