20 Aug 2011

New Zealand swimmers finish with 12 medals

9:02 am on 20 August 2011

The New Zealand swimmers completed a record-setting campaign with 12 medals after the final day of competition in the pool at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China.

This compares with eight medals won by New Zealand swimmers in total at all World University Games since 1983 with this year's event attracting 8000 competitors from 150 nations.

The final day was highlighted with a fourth medal to outstanding breaststroker Glenn Snyders as part of the men's 4x100m medley relay where the New Zealand combination snuck home for the bronze.

The 24-year-old Snyders came to China a month ago ranked at 17th in the world in the 50m breaststroke, 15th in the 100m and 31st in the 200m.

The High Performance Centre swimmer returns to New Zealand as a double finalist at the World Championships in Shanghai, four medals including two golds at the World University Games in Shenzhen and three new national records to his name.

His world rankings have improved to seventh over the 50m breaststroke, sixth in the 100m and 11th in the 200m, with a breakthrough performance to crack the one minute mark for the first time in the 100m breaststroke.

With a year to the London Olympics, Snyders, coached by Mark Regan, is New Zealand's highest ranking swimmer.

Double World University Games medallist Gareth Kean got the New Zealand contingent away to a cracking start with a 54.24 effort in the backstroke, second behind Japan.

Japan won the 4x100 medley in 3:35.02 from USA in 3:37.92 while New Zealand and Italy were time at 3:38.75.

Earlier the experienced Melissa Ingram, in her fourth World University Games and a medallist in 2007, was out-touched in her efforts to add a second medal in the 200m backstroke.

Ingram worked her way in to a trio of swimmers vying for second place, but was edged out for the bronze by 2/10ths of a second by Spaniard Duane Da Rocha.

Clubmate Jessie Blundell clocked 2:14.31 to finish seventh.