Swimming New Zealand has announced its 10-swimmer roster slated to compete at the 2015 FINA World Championships. Still without a permanent head coach since the firing of David Lyles in January of this year, the squad will be led by stand-in national coach, Gary Hurring.
Ironically, traveling to Russia for the championships represents Hurring’s career coming full circle. In the midst of his own stellar swimming career, including becoming the Commonwealth Games 200m backstroke champion in 1990, that year was to be Hurring’s chance to go Olympic gold. But, as was the case with 64 other countries, New Zealand opted to boycott the Olympics to be held in Moscow, which left Hurring, among every other athlete, deflated, yet yearning for that elusive medal. After competing in Lost Angeles at the 1984 Games and finishing off the podium, Hurring hung up his suit and took to coaching.
Reflecting on the fact that he is now making the trip to Russia 35 years later, Hurring says, “It’s a long time ago now but I do remember being bitterly disappointed with the New Zealand boycott of the Olympics. It wasn’t just a short-term disappointment, it was something I had been aiming for for three, four years and sort of had my sights set on going to the Olympics ever since I was 11 years old. It was a dream that got shattered in front of me.”
As a triple bronze medalist at the 2013 edition of Worlds, 27-year old Lauren Boyle leads the lineup for New Zealand headed to Kazan. Boyle will be competing in the 400m and 800m freestyle events in which she currently holds the 3rd and 4th best times in the world, respectively.
New Zealand 2015 FINA World Championships Roster