WELLINGTON, New Zealand, March 31. THE first few days of the New Zealand Swimming Championships have been positive for the nation. The most notable performances were turned in by Corney Swanepoel and Dean Kent.
In the semifinals of the 100 butterfly, Swanepoel clocked the fastest time in the world this year, going 52.49 during Wednesday action. That time handed Swanepoel an invitation to this summer's World Championships in Montreal. He also blazed 23.76 in the 50 fly.
As for Kent, he popped a semifinal time of 2:01.51 in the 200 individual medley, good for second-fastest in the world. In Thursday's finals, Kent was a little slower, but still touched in a solid mark of 2:02.20. Kent also picked up a bid to Montreal.
In other swims of note, Moss Burmester won the 100 fly final in 53.61, ninth in the world, and Kelly Bentley took the women's breaststroke double and set a national record in the 200 distance, clocking 2:30.54.
New Zealand also produced fast enough times among its swimmers to qualify its women's 800 free relay and men's 400 medley relay for the World Champs.