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NZ swimming team selected for Paris

Lewis Clareburt swimming Paris Olympics
Lewis Clareburt is one of New Zealand's best chances for a medal in the pool in Paris. PHOTO: DAVE LINTOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

A team of nine swimmers has been named to represent New Zealand at the 2024 Paris Olympics in July-August.

The team is led by current world champions, Wellingtonian Lewis Clareburt and Dunedin's Erika Fairweather.

Clareburt won the men's 400m individual medley at this year’s World Aquatics Championships in Doha, while Fairweather picked up her title in the women's 400m freestyle, as well as claiming silver in the women's 200m freestyle and bronze in the women's 800m freestyle.

“I’m so keen to get to Paris,” said Fairweather. “It’s always special getting to compete at this level, so much hard work goes on behind the scenes to prepare for the Olympics and I can’t wait to showcase it.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be an Olympian, let alone going to my second Games,” added Clareburt.

“It’s a huge privilege, I can’t wait to represent New Zealand and put the pūkana on the world stage."

The pair will be joined by fellow Tokyo Olympian Eve Thomas, who will also have a busy programme, contesting four events, the women's 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 1500m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay.

Laticia Leigh Transom and Erika Fairweather swimming
Laticia Leigh Transom (left) and Erika Fairweather will compete in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay. PHOTO: DAVE LINTOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

The other six athletes will make their Olympic debuts in Paris after swimming qualification times at the New Zealand Swimming Championships earlier this month.

Hazel Ouwehand was one of the standout performers at the meet, storming home in the women's 100m butterfly in a New Zealand record time of 57.43 seconds, almost half a second under the Paris qualifying time

“Going to the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was super young so it’s pretty special to see it realised,” said Ouwehand.

“I’m really excited for the Games, it’s going to be an amazing field of athletes and I can’t wait to put all my hard work and training into action.”

Hazel Ouwehand swimming Paris Olympics
Hazel Ouwehand will compete at her first Olympics in Paris. PHOTO: DAVE LINTOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

For 200m men's backstroker Kane Follows the selection is particularly sweet. The 27-year-old has been on the cusp of making the national team for years, with the Paris Olympics to be his international representative debut.

“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.”

Taiko Torepe-Ormsby and Cameron Gray are the other men in the Olympic squad.

Torepe-Ormsby produced the fastest men's 50m freestyle swim ever by a New Zealander (21.86 seconds) as he qualified for Paris, while Gray beat his own New Zealand record in the men's 100m freestyle.

Caitlin Deans and Laticia Leigh Transom round out the team, contesting the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay, alongside Fairweather and Thomas.

Swimming New Zealand Olympic programme lead Gary Francis said they were excited about the potential of the squad.

“To have nine quality athletes heading to the Games is fantastic,” said Francis.“We’ve got a great mix of experienced campaigners and exciting young talent in this team.

"We were thrilled with the times these athletes swam at the New Zealand Swimming Championships earlier this month and we’re expecting some special performances in Paris in a few months' time.

The Paris 2024 swimming competition will be contested from July 27-August 4 at the Paris La Defense Arena, the largest indoor events venue in Europe.


Paris Olympics, July 27-August 4


Lewis Clareburt (200m individual medley, 400m individuual medley, 200m butterfly) Kane Follows (200m backstroke) Cameron Gray (100m freestyle) Taiko Torepe-Ormsby (50m freestyle)


Caitlin Deans (4x200m freestyle relay)

Erika Fairweather (200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay) Hazel Ouwehand (100m butterfly) Eve Thomas (400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 1500m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay)

Laticia Leigh Transom (4x200m freestyle relay)

All selections are conditional on confirmation of an Olympic quota place which should be received early July. 


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