Kiwi Trio Lewis Clareburt, Erika Fairweather and Zac Reid Fire Up At New Zealand Nationals in Auckland

Erica Fairweather during Session 4 of the AON New Zealand Swimming Champs, National Aquatic Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. Wednesday 7 April 2021 Photo: Simon Watts/www.bwmedia.co.nz
WHEN ONLY THE BEST WILL DO: Rising Kiwi star Erika Fairweather in career best form with her 4:06.54 to set a nedw 17 Years record in Auckland.Photo Courtesy Simon Watts (Swimming New Zealand).

Kiwi Tokyo Olympic qualifiers Lewis Clareburt, Erika Fairweather and Zac Reid have all continued their impressive showings at the 2021 Swimming Championships in Auckland.

Lewis Clareburt relay

SMOKIN: Lewis Clareburt after his National record 49.96 relay lead off last night in Auckland. Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts (Swimming NZ)

Medley ace Clareburt has added a second “surprise” National Open record in the 100m freestyle, becoming the first New Zealander under 49 seconds with his 48.96 lead off in the Capital Swim Team 4x100m freestyle relay win last night.

Erika Fairweather close up

ALL SMILES: Erica Fairweather in personal best form. Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts (Swimming New Zealand).

World Junior 200m freestyle champion Fairweather (Neptune Swim Club) hammered home the final 100m to set a New Zealand 17 Years 400m freestyle record and in a personal best time and Olympic qualifying time of 4:06.54 (59.47; 2:02.19; 3:05.18) splitting 29.82 on her final 50m.

Fairweather’s time maintains her world ranking inside the top eight from last year and again in 2021, with her closest rivals, the Australian girls about to put their hands up at the Australian Open Championships on the Gold Coast next week.

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ZAC ATTACK: Zac Reid stuck to his race plan to hold off Lewis Clareburt in the 400m freestyle. Photo Courtesy:

While Reid swam the “perfect plan” to keep Clareburt at bay in the men’s 400m freestyle, taking off in the third 100m, and swimming a personal best of 3:47.74 to win the 400m freestyle, with Clareburt storming home to clock 3:48.62.

 

Clareburt had started his week-long campaign with a new National record in his main event, the 400IM, with a stunning time of 4:09.87 – ranking him second in the world for 2021.

And he showed his sprinting ability to give Capital a head start as they went on to win the blue ribband relay, his 48.96 breaking Matthew Stanley’s 2018 National mark of 49.11, set at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Clareburt has certainly thrown down the gauntlet to New Zealand’s top sprinters as they prepare for Saturday’s 100m freestyle show down with two of the top seeds, Coast pair Tyrone Henry and 50m freestyle winner George Williams ambushed by Clareburt in last night’s relay – Williams leading of in 51.11 with Henry’s impressive anchor leg of 49.98.

Not showing any signs of fatigue, Clareburt still has today’s 200m butterfly and a busy final day with the 200m IM before his 100m freestyle.

Should be an intriguing finale for what has been an encouraging week for the Kiwis who are building an exciting new group for their Tokyo assault and beyond to next year’s Commonwealth Games and trhe 2024 Paris Olympics.

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