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Follows dips under Paris qualification time

Updated: Apr 13

Kane Follows breaks the New Zealand record and qualifies for Paris
Kane Follows celebrates his Olympic qualification time and NZ record in the 200m backstroke. PHOTO: BW MEDIA

Kane Follows has beaten Paris Olympics qualification time and a national record at the New Zealand Swimming Championships.

 

Follows' 200m backstroke at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatics Centre on Friday night started well with a first first hundred, a good turn on the final lap and a finishing time of 1 minutes 57.13 seconds to break a 12-year-old New Zealand record.



“This has been a grind, I’ve missed a lot of teams but I’ve stuck at it, I’ve given so much to the sport and it feels so good to get this result,” said Follows.

 

“Sport is a lot of ups and downs but it’s all worth it for this feeling, I’ve really enjoyed this week, racing with my mates and this is the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”

 

In the evening’s other races, Helena Gasson had a crack at the Paris Olympic time in the women’s 200m backstroke, swimming a fast second-100m to set a huge personal best in 2:11.03, just 0.6 seconds outside the Olympic qualifying mark.

 

Another big personal-best followed in the women’s 100m freestyle, with Laticia-Leigh Transom pipping Erika Fairweather in 53.94 seconds.

 

Paralympian Lili-Fox Mason then continued her great meet, taking the women’s 100m freestyle multi-class title in 1:09.16.


Lewis Clareburt NZ Swimming Championships
Lewis Clareburt in action in the individual medley earlier in the week. PHOTO: BW MEDIA

Lewis Clareburt picked up another national title in what has been a busy week for the Tokyo Olympian, winning the men’s 200m butterfly in 1:57.05.

 

Clareburt’s time was so hot it appeared to set off the fire alarm, resulting in a delay, after which Neve Tassicker won the women’s 200m butterfly in 2:18.68.

 

Ian Chen (SB19), Joshua Willmer (SB8) and Joseph Blake (SB18) then all set New Zealand records in the men’s 50m breaststroke multi-class. Chen finished in 32.99, Willmer in 34.38 and Blake in 47.02. Quinn Pike (SB19) took out the women’s 50m breaststroke multi-class final in 42.88.

 

In the final event of the night, the 4x100m mixed freestyle final was won by Club 37 in 3:27.73, a new NZ record.

 

Saturday is the final day of the meet and will see Clareburt contest the 200m individual medley, where he will be chasing a Paris qualification time. Fairweather and Eve Thomas will also be in action in the women’s 800m freestyle, while Cameron Gray will chase another title in the men’s 50m freestyle.

 

More than 180 athletes are competing at the 2024 NZ Swimming Championships, being held from April 9-13. The event is the final opportunity for New Zealand’s top swimmers to qualify for the Paris Olympics and Paralympics.

 

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