The New Zealand swimming team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been announced with all seven athletes to make their debuts at the Games.
The most decorated member of the team is medley swimmer, Lewis Clareburt – who claimed the bronze medal in the men's 400m IM at the 2019 FINA World Championships.
Clareburt, who will compete in the 200m and 400m IM, be will be joined by Zac Reid (400m and 800m Freestyle), Erika Fairweather (200m and 400m freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay), Eve Thomas (800m and 1500m Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay), Hayley McIntosh (1500m Freestyle), Ali Galyer (100m and 200m Backstroke, 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay) and Carina Doyle (4 x 200m Freestyle Relay).
"I'm so stoked to finally be named after what has felt like a never ending campaign," said Clareburt.
"It's a really difficult challenge to get to the Olympic Games so I'm extremely proud to be a part of the New Zealand Team for Tokyo along with my six teammates on the swim team. Now it's time to fine tune our craft and get the job done!"
The New Zealand record holder lowered his Olympic entry time in the 400m IM this year, which not only broke the New Zealand record, but also broke an Oceania record, currently placing him third in the world rankings.
17-year-old Fairweather is a contender for the youngest New Zealand athlete at the Olympic Games. The Dunedin Kavanagh College student says she's thrilled to be heading to her first Olympic Games.
"The feeling of making my first Olympic team is still so surreal. I've worked so hard for this moment and it is all coming together – it's so exciting!" said Fairweather.
"Representing New Zealand and wearing the fern at the Olympic Games is a dream I've had for as long as I can remember, so words don't really do this feeling justice."
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Fairweather competed in the 2019 FINA World Championships and was the youngest swimmer (age 15 at the time) to make top 20 for the 200m and 400m Freestyle distances.
She went on to win gold in the 200m Freestyle event at the 2019 World Junior Championships the following month. Erika has been selected to swim the 200 and 400m Freestyle events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Both Thomas and McIntosh previously focused on the 800m distance but have since shifted their focus to the longest distance of 1500m, a distance which wasn't raced at all by women at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Eve Thomas is the daughter of Sarah Thomas, née Hardcastle, who was Britain's youngest Olympic medallist, when at 15 she won silver and bronze freestyle medals at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
New Plymouth based swimmer Reid is a middle-distance swimmer who will swim in the 400m and 800m Freestyle events. The last time Reid was in Tokyo was for the FINA World Cup in 2019. He placed second in the Men's 400m Freestyle, bringing home the silver medal.
Backstroke swimmer, Galyer is based in the US after graduating from University of Kentucky in Lexington last year. She first represented New Zealand at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, finishing 8th in the 200m Backstroke.
It was the following year, at the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea, where she made the semifinal in the 200m Backstroke event, and clocked a qualification time for Tokyo 2020.
The seventh member of the team is Auckland based swimmer, Doyle, who will join the New Zealand team to swim in the Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay alongside Thomas, Galyer and Fairweather.