10 Aug 2015

Boyle wins silver at World Champs

7:31 am on 10 August 2015

The New Zealand swimmer Lauren Boyle has won silver in the 800 metres freestyle on the penultimate night of finals at the World Championships in Russia.

New Zealand's top swimmer Lauren Boyle.

New Zealand's top swimmer Lauren Boyle. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

While American Katie Ledecky stormed to another world record, Boyle pushed clear of the other chasers with a bold early move, opening a three-second buffer at one stage and fighting off the challengers in the final 100m to secure the silver medal.

It is her fifth world championship medal, which means the 27-year-old now has half of the 10 medals New Zealand swimmers have won at the championships over more than 40 years.

Boyle's time of 8:17.65 took a second off her own New Zealand record and gives her the Oceania record as well.

More importantly her silver medal in the 800m freestyle, the longest distance in the pool in the Olympic Games, gives the New Zealander a real boost towards her medal chances for Rio next year.

It was again a race within a race as the phenomenon that is Ledecky continued in a stratosphere of her own, smashing her own world record to win in 8:07.39, nearly two seconds inside her previous mark, and in doing so become the first person to win four freestyle titles from 200m to 1500m at the same world championship.

Boyle's plan was hatched with her coach Denis Cotterell at their Gold Coast training base, with help from New Zealand coach Graeme Laing.

"Lauren has been training for this race. It is the way it needed to be set-up. We knew she would need a buffer on the fast girls and her training with Denis has been with this plan in mind," said Laing.

"It was a fantastic swim, a courageous swim and she did it perfectly. Lauren has trained so hard for this and it was really good practice for her as she looks ahead to Rio."

Laing said Boyle has had the benefit of Cotterell's guidance in Kazan, where he is a member of the Australian coaching team.

Boyle now heads to Paris to compete in the FINA World Cup meet next weekend.