Mary Fisher Downs Paralympic World Record at 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships

Photo Courtesy: Luc Percival

By Dave Crampton

Eight time para swimming champion Mary Fisher set a new world record on day two of the 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland, with a further NAG record to a 15-year-old open title holder.

Fisher won the women’s S11 100m backstroke world record in 1:17.22, breaking Daniela Schulte’s mark of 1.19.50 for her fourth short course IPC world record.

It was just the second ever day of competition at the Owen G Glenn National Aquatic centre. The pool opened earlier this month and is significantly deeper than the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre, the venue where Lauren Boyle broke the short course 1500m world record in controversial circumstances a year ago.

“The pool is really nice – it seems like a good fast pool,” Fisher said. “From this morning’s swim I knew it was possible to go under the previous mark. I was hopeful – but the time was better than I expected it to be.”

Gabrielle Fa’amausili, 15, grabbed another short course open title in winning the 100m backstroke in 58.64s, breaking Sophia Batchelor’s national age group record by 30 splits in the process. Fa’amausili is the fastest backstroker under the age of 18 that New Zealand has produced, and is preparing to defend her world junior title later this month.

At age 13, she eclipsed Boyle in the 50m freestyle for her first short course open title.

The leading individual at this championships to date is Helena Gasson, 20. The World University Games competitor took out the 200m individual medley to go with her 50m butterfly title.

“This is one of my main ones, so I was happy to retain my title,” she said.

Last year, Gasson won four national short course titles, but this year she is chasing performances rather than titles.

“In the butterflies I’m really looking for good PBs, same in the IM as well. My placing is just whatever happens. Of course I want to be gold but personal bests are the main thing at the moment.”

Helena Gasson during Session Four of the 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships, Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, 12 August 2015. Photo: Simon Watts/

Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts/ New Zealand

New Zealand-based English swimmer Matt Shead followed up his win in the 200m breaststroke on the opening night with victory in the 50m breaststroke in 26.98, pipping titleholder Jeffrey Arona-Tuifana’e.

The championships continue until Saturday.

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