New Zealand’s Emma Robinson Qualifies for Pan Pacific Championships

Emma Robinson, 800m Freestyle. AON Swimming New Zealand National Open Swimming Championships, National Aquatic Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, Monday 2nd July 2018. Photo: Simon Watts/
Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts/

By Dave Crampton, Swimming World Contributor. 

Olympian Emma Robinson qualified for the Pan Pacific Championships at the AON NZ Opens in
Auckland on July 2, with seven further swimmers achieving times for the Junior Pan Pacific

Robinson, who is not fully tapered, was expected to qualify for the 800m after falling short of
qualifying for the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, and swam 4.5 seconds inside the
qualifying time, clocking 8:35.00.

“It’s just another notch on my belt. I worked really closely with my coach and we made a plan going
forward not to taper too much for this event,” she said.

“It’s a fine balance between getting a time and then being able to hopefully hold on until Panpacs in
a couple of week’s time.”

Robinson has the 400m on Wednesday, and despite her 800m time, will still have to do well in the
1500m on the final day to secure her place in that final in Tokyo next month.

“I still want to hit that time hard, the 1500m at Pan Pacs is a timed final so if I want to get into that
final I’m still going to have to do a good swim.”

Also in that 800m event, Australian-based Eve Thomas, 17, (8:56.23) and 14-year-old Erika
Fairweather (8:57.60), second and fourth respectively, met the qualifying time for the Junior Pan
Pacific Championships.

Thomas’ St Peter’s Western clubmate, Michael Pickett,15, broke three national age group records.
He lowered his 50m butterfly NAG, clocking 25.46 in the heats.

“He can go faster,” his coach John Gatfield said shortly after.

He did, lowering that to 25.21, winning the B final. The A final was won by Daniel Hunter in 23.99,
dipping under 24 seconds for the first time.

“It was great to get under that 24 second barrier,” Hunter said. “I just race as fast as I can, there’s
not much else to think about.”

Shortly after, in the 4×100 freestyle relay lead-off for his New Zealand club North Shore, Pickett
clocked 50.69 with a 24.41 split – understood to be the second fastest time in the world this year for
a 15-year-old. Gatfield is looking forward to the 100m later in the week.

“Just need to put it together on the day – we will definitely need to have it bang on to get the sub
50,” he said.

Tyron Henry, 16, clocked 50.91 in his relay lead-off. Both times were NAG records and lower than
the qualifying times for Junior Pan Pacs.

Earlier in the evening Zac Reid qualified for the Youth Olympics in the 400m freestyle, clocking
3:51.10, heading off Lewis Clareburt. In the 200m backstroke Gina Galloway and Thomas Watkins
both achieved Junior Pan Pacs selection times, as did Quinten Hurley in the 1500m.