Day 2 of New Zealand’s Olympic Trials brought more pre-Rio action on both the men’s and women’s sides as over 250 swimmers are racing their way to possibly earning spots on the Kiwi Olympic roster.
The meet acts as 1 of 2 Olympic-qualifying meets, with the 2nd being that of the Canadian Olympic Trials scheduled for April 5th through April 10th in Toronto.
Day 2 Recap
Matamata Swim Club’s Matt Stanley scored an Olympic-qualifying mark en route to winning the men’s 200m freestyle right off the bat in the morning’s prelims session. In his AM swim, the 24-year-old stopped the clock at a swift 1:47.68 to slide under the FINA A cut of 1:47.97 by about three tenths of a second.
Stanley still wound up winning the event in the finals session, albeit in a slower effort, ultimately touching in 1:48.34. Stanley has been as fast as 1:47.09 in his relatively young career, a mark which stands as New Zealand’s National Record since 2014.
On his morning effort, Stanley commented, “It was nice to get it out of the way this morning but unfortunately I could not do a bit better tonight. Doing the qualifying time is enough for this meet but I have a lot of hard work to do from here and I am a bit disappointed.” Stanley’s effort sits outside the world’s top 15 in the event, coming in as the 17th-fastest time in the world this season.
“This morning I swam the race pretty well. It was a lot more controlled than tonight. I think I rushed it a little bit so there is a lot to work on. I need some good rest and prepare to back up in the 400m and 100m.”
Yesterday’s 800m freestyle winner for the men, Greerton Swimming Club’s Nathan Capp, doubled up on golds, taking the 400m IM on Day 2’s evening session. Although Capp’s primary event is the 1500m freestyle slated for later on in the meet, the 23-year-old clocked a solid 4:18.75 in the IM. That’s just about a second off of his own National Record of 4:17.72 set last year and about 2 seconds outside the FINA A cut of 4:16.71.
Finally for the men, two-time Olympian Glenn Snyders snatched the 200m breaststroke title in a time of 2:12.41. Although it was enough to hold off the field in Auckland, his result fell off the FINA A cut mark of 2.11.66 needed to automatic Rio qualification. Snyders’ swiftest of his career is the 2:10.55 he scored at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Although not an Olympic event, Junior World Champion Gabrielle Fa’amausili kicked off her meet with a mighty 27.97 in the women’s 50m backstroke. That time ranks the young 16-year-old as the 6th-fastest swimmer in the event this season, and points to what could be a fantastic 100m back event for her later in the meet.