29 Jul 2011

Women's relay team looking good for Olympic qualification

6:58 am on 29 July 2011

The New Zealand women's freestyle relay team twice broke their own national record by a second but could only finish eighth in the 4 by 200 metre final at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Shanghai.

Still it's good progress towards the London Olympics for the women's quartet, earning them a trial for next year's Games, and in making the final Lauren Boyle, Penny Marshall, Amaka Gessler and Tash Hind finished ahead of swimming powerhouses Japan, Germany, Sweden and Italy.

Their final time of one minute 56 point 55 seconds eclipsed by a second the time they set in breaking the previous record, on the way to the Commonwealth Games silver medal in Delhi.

A second qualifying time at the trials next March will secure a berth for London.

Glenn Snyders missed the 200 breaststroke final but the North Shore swimmer posted his fastest time since his fully suited national record set at the Beijing Olympics as he finished 10th in the semi-finals, and set two more New Zealand records.

Snyders went under the one minute barrier for the first time in the 100 breaststroke where he was also 10th. He was 13th fastest in the 50 semi-final and ninth fastest in the 100m semi.

Wellington's Gareth Kean couldn't repeat his outstanding performances from the 100 backstroke in the 200 and missed qualification for the semi-finals.

Kean was off the pace to finish at 24th fastest and more than three seconds outside his best. Tash Hind also missed out in the 100 freestyle.

Tomorrow's penultimate day of competition features Melissa Ingram and Sophia Batchelor in the 200 backstroke and Lauren Boyle back to compete in the 8 by l00 freestyle.