by Dave Crampton.
Wilrich Coetzee earned his third open title in two days at the New Zealand Short Course Championships at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre in Auckland.
His favoured butterfly events, however, are yet to come and it is these events he seeks to qualify for the World Short Course champs in Canada in December.
“The targets are the butterfly events on the last two days so it’s a case of being patient, every day doing all the processes and working on the skills,” Coetzee said.
The 19-year-old won the 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley on the second night to go with his win in the 400m medley on the opening night of the meet that doubles as the trial for December’s FINA World Short Course Championships.
Coetzee was the only swimmer under the two minute mark in the 200m medley, winning in 1:59.66 from Jacob Garrod and Australian Donald Cameron. In the 100m backstroke he stormed home in the final 25m to claim the title in 53.57s, to pip his older brother Corneille by 0.1s.
Sixteen-year-old Gabrielle Fa’amausili retained her title in the 100m backstroke in a National Age Grade record, clocking 59.54s, the sole swimmer under a minute. She’s gone faster, though, stopping the clock at 58.64 at last year’s champs, also a NAG record. It was her fourth consecutive 100m backstroke NAG record at these champs.
She also holds the New Zealand open record for the 50m backstroke, and seeks to qualify for Canada later this week.
Bronagh Ryan followed her 100m breaststroke New Zealand open record with a win in the 50m event, clocking 31.56, to go with her long course wins in both events at the Oceania champs in July.
Ryan’s first ever national open record was a surprise. She was unaware of the mark, and unaware of the record until her teammates told her.
“My short course is a bit up and down,” she said. “I hit the wall and I didn’t really want to turn around – then I looked at my teammates and they cheered me.”
Bronson Lloyd, 13, notched up his second medley win, clocking 2:14.87 in his 200m final, just 0.18s off a NAG mark. However Josh Gilbert, 15, was among a handful of swimmers clocking under 2:04, taking out the 200 IM NAG mark in 2:03.99.
The championships continue until Thursday.
Day 2 results
Men 200m IM: Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 1:59.66, 1; Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 2:00.42, 2; Hamish Trlin (Capital) 2:02.20, 3.
Women 200m IM: Chloe Francis (Parnell) 2:14.82, 1; Paige Schendelaar-Kemp (Howick Pakuranga) 2:17.06, 2; Gina McCarthy (Hillcrest) 2:17.58, 3.
Men 100m Back: Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 53:57, 1; Corneille Coetzee (North Shore) 53.67, 2; Andrew Trembath (Neptune) 53.94, 3.
Women 100m Back: Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) 59.54, 1; Rebekah Bradley (United) 1:00.00, 2; Caroline Baddock (North Shore) 1:00.13, 3.
Men 50m Breaststroke: Erik Kahr (United) 27.73, 1; Matthew Phillips (Wharenui) 28.10, 2; Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 28.27, 3.
Women 50m Breaststroke: Bronagh Ryan (Porirua City) 31.79, 1; Helena Gasson (North Shore) 31.86, 2.; Kaylee Jackson (Jasi) 32.06, 3.
Women 400m Freestyle: Carina Doyle (North Shore) 4:13.61, 1; Hayley McIntosh (Northwave) 4:14.05, 2; Caitlin Deans (Neptune) 4:15.29, 3.
Men 100m Back: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 1:08.47, 1; David Beck (Mt Albert Grammar) 1:13.01, 2; Tama Solouota (Howick Pakuranga) 1:13.32, 3.
Women 100m Back: Tupou Neiufu (Howick Pakuranga) 1:12.54, 1; Jane Fox (Orca) 1:26.68, 2; Ella Benn (Waitaha) 1:28.95, 3.
Men 50m Breaststroke: Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 38.61, 1; Tama Solouota (Howick Pakuranga) 38.90, 2.
Women 50m Breaststroke: Olivia Upston (Parnell) 48.08, 1; Ella Benn (Waitaha) 50.29, 2.
Women 400m Freestyle: Olivia Upston (Parnell) 5:40.22, 1; Ella Benn (Waitaha) 5:46.21, 2; Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 5:52.62, 3.
CAPTION: Wilrich Coetzee in action during his win in the individual medley at the New Zealand Short Course Championships at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre.