Paralympian Mary Fisher Takes Down Another World Record at 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships

Mary Fisher, 400m Free PARA during Session Four of the Swimming New Zealand Short Course Championships, Wellington Regional Aqautic Centre, Kilbirnie, Wellington. Wednesday 3 September 2014. Photo: Simon Watts/
Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts/ New Zealand

By Dave Crampton

Para swimming champion Mary Fisher and  teenage sensation Gabrielle Fa’amausili set more records on day three of the 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships at the new Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre in Auckland.

Fisher, who broke her fourth short course world record  the previous day,  picked up her fifth IPC world record, clocking  31.68s in the women’s 50m freestyle, a 0.6s improvement on her 2013 record.

“I was hoping to PB and because I held the world record it was more exciting last night to get it off someone else,” Fisher said.

“But it was a good feeling to get that PB and it’s nice that this competition being in the new pool and just having that sanctioned event where para-swimmers can get world records.”

Fa’amausili, the 15-year-old world junior champion, took out the 100m individual medley and  the 50m freestyle  open titles in back to back races. Both were NAG records.

Gabrielle Fa'amausili during Session Six of the 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships, Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, 13 August 2015. Photo: Simon Watts/

Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts/ New Zealand


Initially led by World University Games swimmer  and titleholder Helena Gasson after the backstroke, Fa’amausili took  the lead at the half.  She clocked 1:01.39 , just 15 splits outside the New Zealand open record.

It was the fastest ever time for a swimmer under 19 in New Zealand, equalling  Caroline Baddocks 18-years NAG record.  Baddock was third behind  Australia’s Ami Matsuo, with  Gasson fourth.

Fa’amausili returned shortly after for the 50m freestyle, hitting the front ahead of Matsuo at the turn. She held on strongly to win in 24.83, less than half a second outside the national open record. It was the first time any  New Zealand woman 18 years or under has gone under 25 seconds.

Another teen shining light, Josh Gilbert, won his 200m  breaststroke final by an astonishing  eight seconds, clocking 2:20.60 for his fourth career NAG record.  Despite being just 14, he was the second-fastest of the finalists aged under 18 in the pool. The record  follows his 2:32.46  bronze medal effort at the Australian Age Grade championships earlier this year aged 13.

“The record was in the back of my mind.  I`m pretty proud. – It was a five second PB,” Gilbert said.

It was Gilbert’s fourth national title so far this week.

Gasson  picked hp her third national title, wining the 200m breaststroke in 2:30.56 from Australia’s Cassandra van Breugel.

The championships continue until Saturday.

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