Swimming New Zealand has announced its 11-strong lineup for the 2019 World Championships set for Gwangju, Korea next month. The Kiwi roster is composed of 6 men and 5 women, led by Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Lewis Clareburt.
The 19-year-old Capital Swim Club athlete powered his way to the 400m IM title in Auckland last week, hitting the wall in 4:15.11 to clear the FINA A standard. He also raced to a time of 1:48.11 in the 200m free, which fell short of the FINA A cut but was within the New Zealand-set development time needed to make the squad.
Michael Pickett is another young man ready to make a move next month, as the St. Peters Western, Australia-trained Kiwi busted out the swim of his life in the men’s 50m free. Pickett, just 16 years of age, produced a monster 22.34 in the 50m free to hit the development standard and add his name to the New Zealand lineup.
Erika Fairweather put on an absolute show in the women’s freestyle events at the NZ Open Championships, claiming wins across the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle. The 15-year-old clocked an impressive time of 4:09.33 in the latter to dip under the 4:10 threshold for the first time in her young career and clear the FINA A cut outright.
Former U.S. swimmer Ali Gayler will represent her new federation of New Zealand, having made the grade in the 200m back with a personal best of 2:09.78.
New Zealand World Championships Roster:
The roster is full of new talent, with only Ashby, Hunter and Stanley having competed at the 2017 edition of the World Championships. The nation came away medal-less, however, with the highest finish coming in the form of Corey Main‘s 9th place in the men’s 100m back. The former Florida Gator did not qualify this time around.
The age span of the roster includes 15-year-old Fairweather to 27-year-old Stanley.