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Gray, Leslie swim Paris qualifying times

Cameron Gray has beaten the Paris Olympic qualification time in the 100m freestyle
Cameron Gray celebrates his Olympic qualification time in the men's 100m freestyle. PHOTO: BW MEDIA

Success for Auckland's Cameron Gray at the New Zealand Swimming Championships in Hawke’s Bay.

Swimming in the morning’s heats session on Friday, Gray got off to a strong start in the men’s 100m freestyle.



A great turn set the 20-year up for a fast second 50m, and then flying home in 48.26 seconds to break the New Zealand record and go under the Paris Olympics qualification time.


An ecstatic Gray yelled and hit the water in celebration as the crowd gave a standing ovation.

“I can’t quite believe it,” said Gray. “I was feeling pretty good down the first 50, in the last 50 I knew it was going to be close, knew I was going to be on, so just went for it.


“I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest after this and then I’ll be back into getting ready for a big few months.”


Paralympian Cameron Leslie was up next, swimming in the 100m freestyle men’s multi-class.


The 34-year-old S4 swimmer showed his class to touch the wall in 1 minute 25.86 seconds, well under the Paris Paralympics qualification time.


“It’s good to get that time this morning and we'll see what we can do in finals tonight,” said Leslie.


Leslie will contest the 50m freestyle multi-class on Saturday.


More than 180 athletes are competing at the 2024 NZ Swimming Championships, being held from April 9-13 at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre.


The event is the final opportunity for New Zealand’s top swimmers to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics.


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