Lauren Boyle Sets Controversial Short Course World Record in 1500 Free

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, August 9.  TODAY, at the Wellington Winter Championships, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Lauren Boyle was reported to have smashed a world record in the short course 1500-meter freestyle event.

Boyle, who will be competing at the Pan Pacific Championships later this month, clocked a 15:22.68 in the women’s 1500-meter freestyle.  That effort crushed Mireia Belmonte Garcia’s record of 15:26.95 set last November at the Spanish Short Course Championships.  Boyle also split an 8:08.05 at the 800-meter mark.

Her record will still require ratification by FINA following a doping test and an official survey of the pool at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre.

This is where the controversy enters the equation.  David Wright, an ASCA level 5 swimming coach residing in New Zealand, had filed a protest regarding the pool this week.

According to his blog SwimWatch.com, the pool is being held to a standard which FINA has already had a problem with.

I hear the Wellington Winter Swimming Championships are being held this weekend. And guess what? They are starting each race from the shallow end of the pool. That’s the end that does not meet the FINA minimum depth standard. That’s the end FINA told Swimming New Zealand should not be used. That’s the end several of my swimmers have grazed and bumped knees and toes diving into. That’s the end a young Raumati swimmer lost her teeth diving into its dangerous water.

Additionally, Wright has claimed that the Wellington pool is subject to a current, and should not be used as a championship-level pool until the issue is fixed.

We will keep an eye on the situation. Request for comment sent to both FINA and Swimming New Zealand have not been returned.

Comparative Splits

Belmonte Garcia:

29.15, 1:00.47 (31.32), 1:32.28 (31.81), 2:03.99 (31.71), 2:35.44 (31.45), 3:06.66 (31.22), 3:37.85 (31.19), 4:09.11 (31.26), 4:40.32 (31.21) 5:11.55 (31.23), 5:42.61 (31.06),
6:13.67 (31.06), 6:44.72 (31.05), 7:15.66 (30.94), 7:46.60 (30.94), 8:17.40 (30.80), 8:48.37 (30.97), 9:19.07 (30.70), 9:50.12 (31.05), 10:21.32 (31.20), 10:52.53 (31.21), 11:23.12 (30.59), 11:53.82 (30.70), 12:24.62 (30.80), 12:55.33 (30.71), 13:25.72 (30.39), 13:56.30 (30.58), 14:26.86 (30.56), 14:57.51 (30.65), 15:26.95 (29.44)

Boyle:

28.46, 58.66 (30.20), 1:29.07 (30.41), 1:59.51 (30.44), 30.49 (2:30.00), 3:00.55 (30.55), 3:31.15 (30.60), 4:01.74 (30.59), 4:32.34 (30.60), 5:03.01 (30.67), 5:33.85 (30.84), 6:04.57 (30.72), 6:35.31 (30.74), 7:06.10 (30.79), 7:36.85 (30.75), 8:08.05 (31.20), 8:39.13 (31.08), 9:10.07 (30.94), 9:41.23 (31.16), 10:12.38 (31.15), 10:43.42 (31.04), 11:14.64 (31.22), 11:45.92 (31.28), 12:17.24 (31.32), 12:48.15 (30.91), 13:19.13 (30.98), 13:50.21 (31.08), 14:21.04 (30.83), 14:52.09 (31.05), 15:22.68 (30.59)

If the record is ratified, Boyle would become the first New Zealand woman to ever set a world short course record.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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