Wilrich Coetzee Claims 2nd Title at 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships

Wilrich Coetzee during Session Eight of the 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships, Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, 14 August 2015. Photo: Simon Watts/www.bwmedia.co.nz
Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts/www.bwmedia.co.nz/Swimming New Zealand

By Dave Crampton

Gasson’s North Shore clubmate, Wilrich Coetzee, set his fast-finishing radar on range with a second title at the 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships. The 18-year-old was narrowly beaten on the second night despite his powerful finishes in both the 200m individual medley and 100m backstroke.

But he got it right to reverse the result against  Max Polianski in the 100m individual medley on Thursday, and did the same in the 200m backstroke the following night.

Coetzee trailed  Andrew Trembath, the 100m backstroke winner, until the final 25m when he forged from behind with a withering finish to claim the title in 1:57.41 just 31 splits ahead.

Just two days after returning from the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Aquablack Emma Robinson had no trouble winning her 800m final at the 2015 New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland.

Although she was jetlagged, the Australian-based swimmer improved on her Kazan time, clocking 8:31.04 in the new Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre, well ahead of second placed Caitlin Deans, 15 with Aquablack open water swimmer Charlotte Webby well off the pace.

“I would have liked to have gone a bit faster – but I`m sick. I`m jetlagged.” Robinson said.

“But I`m happy with what I’ve done.”

Another top teen performer, Satori Dobbie, 15, broke the 100m butterfly NAG record twice, taking a full second off his time in the morning, clocking 56.08, and lowering it further in the evening to 56.01.

The closest finish of the night came in the women’s 100m butterfly where Glasgow Commonwealth Games and WUG representative Samantha Lee came from third at the final turn to win in 59.26.

There was just a blink separating the first three with Australian Emily Washer just 2/100ths of a second behind, with defending champion Laura Quilter further 4/100ths of a second back in third.

Washer was first at the turn before Quilter took over, leading until 10m from the finish where Lee powered home to victory.

“I haven’t done a lot of short course training or racing for a while since World University Games. I just got thrown back into hard training so I wasn’t really expecting much coming into this meet but I’ve sort of surprised myself,” Lee said.

Helena Gasson took out the 400m individual medley in 4:40.35, winning emphatically from Kate Godfrey, for her fourth open title, equalling her effort last year. Godfrey bounced back in the following race to win the 200m backstroke in 2:08.75.


The championships conclude tomorrow.

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