Swimming: Boyle gets 800m win

Lauren Boyle produced an outstanding second half of her swim to beat world record holder Mareia Belmonte of Spain in the 800m freestyle at the Fina World Cup in Tokyo yesterday.

Boyle, the world short course champion at the distance, scored her third victory midway through the cluster of World Cup events in Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing that will complete the seven-city series.

The 25-year-old beat off the challenge from Spaniards Belmonte and Melanie Costa in the opening 800m freestyle final in Singapore. Last night, Costa opted for the 200m only and Belmonte just the 800m freestyle.

Boyle swum on the shoulder of Belmonte for close to half distance before taking the lead for the first time at the 350m mark. However the double silver medallist proved difficult to shake at the 650m mark.

The New Zealander then powered clear to win in 8m 6.75s. Belmonte finished more than two seconds back.

Boyle's time was more than three seconds faster than her winning time in Singapore and she recorded an impressive negative split, swimming the second half of the race nearly three seconds faster than the first 400m.

Boyle returned to the pool 15 minutes after her 800m to finish fifth in the final of the 200m freestyle in 1m 55.28s, 2.5s faster than her time in Singapore.

She will contest the 400m freestyle today before heading to Beijing for the final meet on November 13-14.

- Herald on Sunday

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