In a remarkable performance on 3rd night of the State New Zealand Swim Championships, Matthew Stanley, Steven Kent, Dylan Dunlop-Barrett and Andrew McMillan smashed the New Zealand record and gave themselves an outstanding chance to earn an invitation to the London Olympics.
The quartet, the fastest four individuals in the 200m freestyle final, went 7:14.05 in the 4x200m freestyle relay which was seven seconds under the old national record, but more importantly posting a time that would have placed them 10th in the world last year.
Twelve teams have already qualified for the Olympics, with the next four fastest nations at the end of the qualifying period in early June to earn selection.
Already qualified from Shanghai 2011
- USA – 7.02.67
- France – 7:04.81
- China – 7:05.67
- Germany – 7:08.32
- Australia – 7:08.48
- Great Britain – 7:10.84
- Japan – 7:10.92
- Italy – 7:12.26
- Austria – 7:13.34
- Canada – 7:13.73
- Russia – 7:14.12
- South Africa – 7:15.65
Additional teams in contention
- New Zealand – 7:14.05 – NZ Champs 2012
- Denmark – 7:15.38 – Danish Trials 2012
- Belgium – 7:17.39 – Shanghai 2011
- Brazil – 7:18.44 – Shanghai 2011
Their immediate aim tonight was to satisfy the NZOC criteria, which was a time equal to the 12th fastest team at last year’s world championships. They went inside that target of 7:15.65 with a superb effort, set up with a 1:48.02 opener by Stanley, 1:48.67 from Kent, a stunning 1:48.01 from Dunlop-Barrett and an anchor leg of 1:49.35 from McMillan.
“That was out of this world,” said Dunlop-Barrett who returned from Australia after Christmas and is now based at the High Performance Centre under Talbot.
“I nearly gave up the sport three months ago. I was that disillusioned with things. But it has been unreal back home. We are like brothers and we just gave it everything out there. It has not sunk in. I know we have to wait now but that was a great swim.”
In the women’s 200 freestyle, Lauren Boyle qualified for the individual in event in 1:58.28, and Natasha Hind (1:58.69), Amaka Gessler (2:00.07) and Samantha Lucie-Smith (2:01.26) for the 4×200 freestyle which has alread earned a qualifying spot in London. The selectors may consider adding a reserve with Boyle’s anticipated heavy schedule in London. And Natalie Wiegersma qualified for her second Olympic event with a 2:13.17 in the 200 IM, taking the number of individual qualifying perfomances to nine.