Sophie Pascoe Lowers Another Paralympic World Record

Emma Robinson is embraced by Lauren Boyle after both swimmers qualified for the World Champs in the 800m free during the New Zealand Open Swimming Championships, Westwave Aquatic Centre, Henderson, Auckland, Thursday 16 April 2015. Photo: Simon Watts/www.bwmedia.co.nz
Photo Courtesy: BW Media

Para-Swimming star Sophie Pascoe set the pool alight with an outstanding world record on the penultimate night of finals at the New Zealand Open Swimming Championships in Auckland.

Pascoe became the first S10 category Para-Swimmer to go under the one minute mark in the 100m freestyle, winning the event in 59.77s to break the world record, and gain her fourth qualifying swim for July’s IPC World Championship in Glasgow.

The stars came out to play with Lauren Boyle setting the third fastest time of the year in winning the 800m freestyle in 8:23:57, and also helped drag Wellington’s Emma Robinson through to a qualifying performance.

There are eight pool swimmers qualified for the world championships in Kazan, Russia in 12 events along with open water swimmers Kane Radford and Charlotte Webby.

The Para-Swimming team is also growing with seven swimmers meeting the standard in 14 events to July’s IPC World Championships in Glasgow.

It proved Pascoe’s second world record of the meet but clearly a performance that meant much to the 22 year old from the QEII club in Christchurch.

“That’s amazing. I’ve been chasing that minute mark for three years so to get it is fantastic,” Pascoe said. “It was fantastic to be able to get that world record at home in front of so many fans. They were great tonight, I could hear them as I came down that final 15 metres.

Pascoe said it was a huge boost for her with the IPC World Championships still 12 weeks away.

“I’ve done a taper but not a full taper and still have a good stint of training ahead. But I guess my rivals will see this with some interest.”

It was close but no cigar in the early swims tonight until Boyle’s impressive performance in the 800m freestyle.

Coming into the meet untapered, the 27 year old Commonwealth Games silver medallist and world championship bronze medallist produced a consistent effort, going through the midway point in 4:12 and then producing a negative split to win in 8:23.57.
Robinson held on strongly to be second in 8:31.96, more than three seconds inside the qualifying time and a significant personal best for the 20 year old Wellington swimmer which brought praise from Boyle.

“It has been a long time since New Zealand has had two swimmers at a world championship in the 400 and 800 free,” Boyle said.

“That was a great effort from Emma and it shows the growing depth in New Zealand swimming when you have one person who is able to get some success and others see what can be done.

Boyle said she was unsure of her form coming into the championships after a hard training load but satisfied with her efforts tonight.

“That was five seconds outside my best so that is quite pleasing for a lot of swims in just three days. I know I have plenty of hard work ahead but I am encouraged by this.”

Waikato teenager Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield) took out the men’s 100m butterfly in 53.72 ahead of top qualifier Alex Hancock (Howick Pakuranga) in 54.40.

With Glenn Snyders and Corey Main already qualified in FINA A times in the 100m breaststroke and 100m backstroke respectively earlier in the meet, there is a chance of qualifying a men’s medley relay for the world championships.

Ashby’s time now leaves a tough task for the winner of tomorrow’s 100m freestyle, which will need to dip under the 49 second mark to qualify a relay for the championships in Kazan.

In other early finals, North Shore’s Laura Quilter won the women’s 100m freestyle in 56.64 ahead of USA based Georgia Marris (United) in 56.73 and Samantha Lee (Capital) 57.10.

Main took out the men’s 200m backstroke in 2:01.00, just outside the qualifying time, ahead of freestyle specialist Matthew Stanley (Matamata) in 2:01.46 and Ashby in 2:01.91.

Australian visitor Taylor McKeown was fastest in the 200m breaststroke in 2:25.93 with the national title going to North Canterbury’s Natasha Lloyd in 2:32.00 and Abbie Johnston (North Shore) second in 2:36.53.

There was an upset in the men’s 200m breaststroke when Hawkes Bay swimmer Julian Layton won the 200m breaststroke in 2:12.81, edging out titleholder and record holder Snyders who clocked 2:13.34.

In other swims Quilter won the 50m butterfly in 27.38 and Howick Pakuranga’s Daniel Hunter won the men’s 50m freestyle in 22.59s.

Former Paralympic gold medallist Cameron Leslie (Laser Mt Eden), returning to the sport, crushed the qualifying standard in the SM4 150m medley in 2:31.18, nearly 17 seconds inside the qualifying mark.

The other qualifying swim came from Te Awamutu 16 year old Nikita Howarth, who qualified for her third event at the world championships, clocking 35.77s in the 50m butterfly.

The championships conclude tomorrow.

Day 3 Results:
Men 100m butterfly: Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield) 53.72, 1; Alex Hancock (Howick Pakuranga) 54.40, 2; Isaac Foote
Women 100m freestyle: Laura Quilter (North Shore) 56.64, 1; Georgia Marris (United) 56.73, 2; Samantha Lee (Capital) 57.10, 3.
Men 200m backstroke: Corey Main (Howick Pakuranga) 2:01.00, 1; Matthew Stanley (Matamata) 2:01.46, 2; Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield) 2:01.91, 3.
Women 200m breaststroke: Taylor McKeown (Visitor, Australia) 2:25.93, 1; Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury) 2:32.00, 1; Abbie Johnston (North Shore) 2:36.53, 2; Jane Ip (West Auckland) 2:40.43, 3.
Men 200m breaststroke: Julian Layton (Greendale) 2:12.81, 1; Glenn Snyders (North Shore) 2:13.34, 2; Alex Peach (United) 2:14.92, 3.
Women 50m butterfly: Laura Quilter (North Shore) 27.38, 1; Samantha Lee (Capital) 27.47, 2; Emily Rennell (Jasi) 27.73, 3.
Men 50m freestyle: Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 22.59, 1; Corey Main (Howick Pakuranga) 22.87, 2; Sam Perry (St Peter’s) 22.99, 3.
Women 800m freestyle: Lauren Boyle (United) 8:23.57, 1 (Qualified FINA World Championships); Emma Robinson (Capital) 8:31.98, 2 (Qualified FINA World Championships); Monique King (North Shore) 8:56.33, 3.

Para Swimmers:
Men 100m butterfly: Jesse Reynold (Fairfield) 1:05.07, 1; Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 1:06.05, 2; Hamish McLean (Wanaka) 1:41.71, 3.
Women 100m freestyle: Sophie Pascoe (QEII) 59.77, 1 (World Record, Qualified IPC World Championships); Georgia Gray (North Shore) 1:09.86, 2; Tayla Clement (North Shore) 1:10.85, 3.
Women 50m butterfly: Nikita Howarth (Te Awamutu) 35.77, 1 (Qualified IPC World Championships); Bryall McPherson (North Shore) 38.57, 2.
Men 50m freestyle: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 27.97, 1; Jesse Reynolds (Fairfield) 28.88, 2; Daniel Gaualofa (Bay of Islands) 27.31, 3.
Men 150m individual medley: Cameron Leslie (Laser Mt Eden) 2:31.18, 1 (Qualified IPC World C

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2015 New Zealand Open, Day Three – Results