Dunedin's Kurt Crosland showed age is no barrier when he grabbed New Zealand's first gold medal on the opening night of finals at the Oceania swimming championships in New Caledonia last night.
The 27-year-old won the men's 100m backstroke in 57.18s ahead of Australian Ben Edmonds and Swimming New Zealand teammate Ben Gillies.
New Zealand won four medals on the opening day in Noumea with Queensland-based Cameron Simpson winning a silver in the 50m butterfly, Troy Balvert a bronze in the 1500m freestyle as well as the gold and bronze to Crosland and Gillies.
Crosland, who said he never made the most of his chances as a young swimmer, is enjoying a return to the sport 10 years after he gave it away.
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Now the father of a two-year-old son, Crosland is coached by Gennadiy Labara and well motivated to reach the top including qualifying for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
It marks the start of a busy week for the Otago swimmer, who will also contest the 50m and 200m backstroke, 50m and 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
Simpson, who attends and trains at The Southport School on the Gold Coast, produced a solid 25.17s to finish second to Australian Lester Daniel in the final of the 50m butterfly, with his preferred freestyle events still to come.
Dunedin's Troy Balvert recovered sufficiently after finishing fourth in the 10km open water swim on Monday, to finish third in the 1500m freestyle final.
The championships continue until Sunday.