NZ Swimmers eye qualification

The major players at the New Zealand swimming nationals set themselves up for a tilt at further world championship qualification on the penultimate morning of heats in Auckland today.

Olympian Hayley Palmer led qualifiers in the heats of the 100m freestyle in 56.46s, a little more than a second outside the qualifying mark for the world championships. Palmer faces a strong test in tonight's finals with the top six swimmers, led by Tash Hind and Lauren Boyle, within half a second.

Wellington's Gareth Kean topped qualifiers in the heats of the 200m backstroke in 2:01.72 to be comfortably clear of Kurt Crosland and Ben Gillies.

In an all-Canterbury battle, Abbie Johnston's time of 2:35.94 was fastest in heats of the 200m breaststroke ahead of Natasha Lloyd, while US-based Glenn Snyders impressed with a 2:14.06 effort to lead heats of the 200m breaststroke.

Australian-based Michael Minchum topped qualifiers in the 1500m freestyle in 15:59.91, just ahead of London Olympian Dylan Dunlop-Barrett in 16:00.58.

Paralympians Sophie Pascoe and Mary Fisher will also be looking for further records tonight in the 200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke finals, respectively.

The fifth night of finals starts at 6.30pm.


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