New Zealand swimmers Bradley Ashby and Natasha Lloyd scored medals on the final day of the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney yesterday.
Ashby, from the Fairfield Club in Hamilton but based on the Gold Coast, bagged his second medal of the festival when he took out the bronze medal in the 200m individual medley. This follows the silver he won in the 400m individual medley.
He broke the New Zealand record in the morning heats and lowered this again to 2:04.37 in the final where he earned the bronze medal.
Lloyd, the national open champion, produced a strong performance to earn the bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke in 2:31.36 in an excellent swim. This broke the 17 years national age group record by nearly a second.
New Zealand swimmers qualified for seven finals yesterday as well as two relays.
Swimming New Zealand manager Philip Rush said the festival was an important development opportunity for the sport.
"All but four Australian Youth Olympic Festival records were broken in the pool which points to the level of competition this week," Rush said.
"We are a small nation with only a few quality swimmers but we need to develop a larger base. This competition has allowed that.
"Our swimmers need to train and race harder but in saying that around 80 per cent of swims were personal bests and a positive sign was that swimmers, in the main, bettered their morning times in the evening finals.
"This shows that the programmes are working in this regard. We need to be able to swim fast in the morning and faster in the evening which is what we need to do to be able to compete on the international swimming stage."
Day 4 New Zealand results:
800m freestyle: Grace Sommerville (Ashburton) 9:05.88, 5; Monique King (North Shore) 9:08.10, 8.
200m individual medley: Ryo Fujimoto (JPN) 2:03.29, 1; Evan White (CAN) 2:04.30, 2; Bradley Ashby (Hamilton) 2:04.37, 3.
200m breaststroke: Jenna Strauch (AUS) 2:37.55, 1; Sydney Pickrem (CAN) 2:31.09, 2; Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury) 2:31.36, 3. Abbie Johnston (Aquagym) 2:37.46, 8.
200m breaststroke: Ben Walsh (Porirua Aquatics) 2:25.02, 7.
1500m freestyle: Carter Edgecombe (Fairfield) 16:04.36, 7.
Women 400m medley relay: NZL 4:18.18, 6.
Men 400m medley relay: NZL 3:55.29, 6.