New Zealand Government Eases COVID-19 Restrictions To Open Up Last Three Days of NZ Short Course Nationals

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ACTION UNDER WAY IN HAMILTON: Short Course action started in Hamilton today but medal events will start from Thursday. Image Courtesy: Swimming NZ.

New Zealand Government eases COVID-19 Restrictions In Auckland For Last Three Days of NZ Short Course Nationals.

By Dave Crampton

Swimming New Zealand has confirmed that it will only award National titles from its AON NZ Short Course National Short Course Championships in Hamilton for events conducted on the last three days of its five-day meet – after COVID-19 restrictions in Auckland were lifted as of tomorrow night.

The Championship meet finally kick-started at the Waterworld venue in Hamilton today with the news breaking that the New Zealand Government had made the decision to ease the restrictions in Auckland, from Level 2 to Level 1.

In a statement today, Swimming New Zealand said: “We can confirm that Aucklanders will be welcome to compete in the events they have entered in from Thursday October 8 onwards. All results on days three to five, will therefore be deemed National Championship results.”

The meet got underway today without nearly a third of those swimmers (213) from Auckland who had initially entered the meet.

Removal of the restrictions would permit all entered swimmers to compete from Thursday but some swimmers from Auckland are staying away and have scratched the meet.

However, because all Auckland swimmers were originally excluded from the Championships while the region remained under Level 2, the Auckland Swimming Association last week organised its
own five-day meet, also starting today, and released psych sheets yesterday.

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HEADLINING HAMILTON: Medley maestro Lewis Clareburt will be a headline act in  in Hamilton. Photo Courtesy: Swimming NZ.

Headlining the Hamilton event will be World Championship s 400IM bronze medallist Lewis Clareburt, 200m freestyle World Junior champion Erika Fairweather, 16, and one of the world’s most successful Para swimmer’s Sophie Pascoe, who set seven world records at these championships in 2017.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/97655397/sophie-pascoe-turns-new-zealand-swim-meet-into-personal-fifedom

Swimmers competing in Auckland include Commonwealth Games medley finalist Bradlee Ashby, who heads the 200m IM and 100m butterfly and Brearna Crawford, 17, who heads the 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m backstroke, and 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, and is off to Indiana University, Bloomington on scholarship next year.

Carina Doyle, 400m Freestyle. AON Swimming New Zealand National Open Swimming Championships, National Aquatic Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, Wednesday 4 July 2018. Photo: Simon Watts/www.bwmedia.co.nz

AUCKLAND POWER STROKE: Carina Doyle will line up in the 100m freestyle in Auckland. Photo Courtesy: Swimming New Zealand.

Commonwealth Games finalist Carina Doyle heads the freestyle events, with 54.56, in the 100m event, but the duel between Fairweather, (53.90) and Laura Littlejohn,16, (54.49) in Hamilton should be the one to watch.

Missing altogether are top swimmers Ali Galyer and Helena Gasson, who like Clareburt, are off to the International Swimming League in Budapest.

 

Swimming New Zealand made the decision to move the meet from Auckland to Hamilton due to Covid-19 restrictions, after Auckland’s Level 2 restrictions limited groups to no more than 100 in the region until, as announced today, 11:59pm tomorrow night October 7.

The remainder of the country is in Alert level 1 where there are no such restrictions.

The following day the Government announced Auckland would join the country at Level 1 on October 7, meaning all Auckland swimmers are permitted to compete outside of Auckland from October 8.

All Auckland swimmers who entered the Hamilton meet were automatically entered in the Auckland meet unless otherwise notified, and are withdrawn from the meet in Hamilton.

Yet up until today, Swimming New Zealand’s Hamilton psych sheets continue to include all Auckland swimmers from October 8.

Entry to the Auckland meet is conditional on all swimmers completing the five-day meet at the venue that the AON New Zealand Short Course championships were originally to be held, instead of
travelling to Hamilton on Wednesday evening.

If that condition remains, Auckland swimmers competing in Auckland will be missing from the Hamilton event and so all National titles will not be contested by the country’s top swimmers.

Results of the Hamilton meet will be posted here: http://livetiming.se/results.php?cid=5634 and the entry lists are here http://livetiming.se/program.php?cid=5634&session=0&all=1

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