Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald's chief sports reporter

Swimming: Good things come in threes for Snyders

Glenn Snyders has qualified for his third Olympic Games. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Glenn Snyders has qualified for his third Olympic Games. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Good things have come in threes for Glenn Snyders this week.

The US-based swimmer completed the full trifecta of breaststroke titles at the national championships this week, and today capped off his meet by joining a select group of New Zealand swimmers in qualifying for his third Olympic Games.

Dean Kent and Helen Norfolk are the only two Kiwi swimmers to have attended three Olympics. Come August in Rio, Snyders and Lauren Boyle will add their names to the list.

The weight of the achievement was not lost on Snyders, who returned from his training base in California to compete in this week's nationals.

"I think it shows my determination and perseverance over the past 15 years. I made my first team in 2005 and basically haven't missed a team since, so it is something very special," he said.

Snyders claimed the 50m and 200m breaststroke titles earlier in the week, but had to wait until day four to book his ticket to Rio, finally cracking the Fina 'A' standard in the heats of the 100m breaststroke today.

He went faster again in tonight's final, clocking 1:00.08 - just outside his New Zealand record of 59.78.

Earlier in the evening session Matt Stanley, who qualified in the 200m freestyle earlier this week, added a second event to his Olympic programme when he blitzed the qualifying standard in the 400m free.

Stanley saw off some spirited opposition from Howick-Pakuranga's Ewan Jackson to claim the title in a time of 3:49.01.

The other big swim of the evening saw two-time Paralympian Sophie Pascoe produce the first world record swim in the newly-opened National Aquatic Centre on Auckland's North Shore.

Pascoe blitzed her own 100m butterfly world record by over a second to add to her healthy collection of titles from the week. Pascoe's time of 1:02.60 would have placed her sixth in the able-bodied final earlier in the week.

Having been chasing a time in the low 1:03 range, Pascoe said her time was a pleasant surprise.

"I think it just goes to show how determined I was to have a good nationals. Everyone is wanting to make a statement at this time of year and prove to their competitors they are on form, so for me to do that tonight is amazing," said Pascoe.

There was an element of frustration for rising 16-year-old duo Gabrielle Fa'amausili and Bobbi Gichard as the pair fell short of the Olympic nomination standard of 1:00.25 in the 100m backstroke.

The talented teens, who have battled each other since they were nippers, produced another thrilling tussle. Gichard (Howick Pakuranga) was the fastest qualifier for the final, finishing 0.35 clear of Fa'amausili (United) in the heats. But Fa'amausili, who is the junior world champion over 50m backstroke, got the better of Gichard in the final to claim the title.

- NZ Herald

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