The final day of pool swimming events at the 2016 Oceania Championships took place today at the Damodar Aquatic Centre in Suva, Fiji, with New Zealand staying atop the medal tally. On the day, Kiwi swimmers took home gold in 6 out of 9 events, including two relay wins as a final blow to rival Australia.
New Zealand’s squad took the mixed 400 freestyle relay in a time of 3:36.62, 2 seconds ahead of Australia, to kick off the final session. The nation’s women’s 400 medley relay was also golden for New Zealand, with the foursome of Gabrielle Fa’amausili (1:01.67), Bronagh Ryan (1:11.75), Helena Gasson (59.92) and Carina Doyle (57.54) combined to clock at winning time of 4:10.88.
Individually, New Zealand fired off 4 straight event wins, starting with Monique King’s victory in the women’s 800m freestyle. The 20-year-old was able to take the event in a mark of 8:53.54, representing the only swimmer to notch a sub-9-minute time. Countrymate Wilrich Coetzee was the winner of the men’s 200 IM, collecting a time of 2:05.51. He was closely followed by fellow Kiwi Jonathan Rutter, who touched just .38 behind in 2:05.89.
Daniel Hunter and Fa’amausili both topped the podium in the men’s and women’s splash and dash event. Hunter won the men’s 50m freestyle in 22.49, as one of only 3 swimmers to venture beneath the 23-second threshold. For Fa’amausili, her 25.60 was enough to hold off charging Natasha Ramsden of Australia. Ramsden was the only other swimmer with a sub-26-second time, earning silver in 25.96.
A pair of Aussie breaststrokers were able to break the New Zealand winning streak, as 17-year-old Zac Stubblety-Cook took the men’s 200m event in 2:16.69, while 16-year-old Bec Cross earned gold in the women’s 200m breaststroke in a mark of 2:34.83.
Tomorrow, June 25th has the final open water swimming event, but New Zealand ends today with 23 golds to Australia’s 16, giving the Kiwis a total medal count of 51 to Aussie’s 43.