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Down Under Daily - Fairweather’s Dazzling Silver

2022 FINA World Short Course - Day One

On a night where two world records fell, it was Erika Fairweather who lit up the opening day of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Melbourne, taking home a silver medal in the 400m Freestyle. After breaking the 18 NZ Age Group record in the heats with a near 4-second personal best (3:58.27) to qualify fastest for the final, it was a battle with Australian Lani Pallister that kick started the finals session. Having previously gone head-to-head at the 2019 FINA World Junior Championships in Budapest, Fairweather and Pallister edged away from the edge of the field from the outset, matching stroke for stroke through the first 300m. A strong back end saw Pallister go on to claim the gold, just ahead of Fairweather who improved upon her heat swim to re-set the 18 NZ Age Group record with 3:56.00.

The NZ team was in raptures throughout the final and the medal ceremony, with the Fairweather family sharing a special embrace with a shiny silver medal around Erika’s neck.

A big congratulations Erika, New Zealand is very proud and what a way to start the ultimate summer showdown in Melbourne! Impressively, Erika took 6-seconds off her personal best in the 400m Freestyle across the day.

New Zealand Starting Strongly

New Zealand also had a strong first day from the rest of the team. Helena Gasson progressed through to the semi-finals in the 50m Butterfly after finishing 15th in the heats (25.63). A strong evening swim saw her improve her time and break the NZ Record (25.38) to finish 11th overall.

The Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay rounded out the morning session with a NZ Record that hadn’t been broken since 2009 (3:10.97), finishing first reserve for the finals to claim 9th overall. Cam Gray led off the team strongly (47.97), before Carter Swift (46.92 split), Zac Dell (47.59 split) and George Williams (48.53 split) brought it home for the team.

Cam Gray set a new personal best in the 50m Butterfly to finish 26th (22.90). Hazel Ouwehand also set a new personal best in the 100m Backstroke to finish 25th (58.56). Luan Grobbelaar went faster than his entry time to finish 23rd (1:57.38) in the 200m Individual Medley.

Other heat swims saw Zac Dell finish 24th in the 100m Backstroke (51.98). Helena Gasson placed 19th in the 200m Individual Medley (2:10.33). The Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay finished 12th with

Other NZ-Based Swims

Kokoro Frost (Samoa) swam the 50m Butterfly and finished 53rd in the heats (25.03).

Kirsten Fisher-Marsters (Cook Islands) swam the 200m Individual Medley finishing in 34th (2:28.89).

Day 2 Preview

Day 2 has the NZ Record holder, Carter Swift, racing in the 100m Freestyle and Josh Gilbert in the 100m Breaststroke. NZ have a team entered in each of the Mixed 4 x 50m Medley Relay and Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay.

Fresh off her silver medal Erika Fairweather will line up in the 800m Freestyle fastest timed final being swum in the evening session.

Day Two Schedule

  • Mixed - 4x50m Medley Relay - 11am AEDT (1pm NZDT)

  • Carter Swift - 100m Freestyle - 12.23pm AEDT (2.23pm NZDT)

  • Josh Gilbert - 100m Breaststroke - 12.57pm AEDT (2.57pm NZDT)

  • Women’s - 4x200m Freestyle Relay - 1.22pm AEDT (3.22pm NZDT)

  • Erika Fairweather - 800m Freestyle (Timed Final) - 7.42pm AEDT (9.42pm NZDT)

Day One Results Summary

  • Erika Fairweather - 400m Freestyle - 3:56.00 - Silver Medal (18 Yr NZR in Heat & Final)

  • Hazel Ouwehand - 100m Backstroke - 58.56 - 25th (PB)

  • Zac Dell - 100m Backstroke - 51.98 - 24th

  • Helena Gasson - 50m Butterfly - 25.38 - 11th (Semi & NZ Record in Semi)

  • Cam Gray - 50m Butterfly - 22.90 - 26th (PB)

  • Helena Gasson - 200m Individual Medley - 2:10.33 - 19th

  • Luan Grobbelaar - 200m Individual Medley - 1:57.38 - 23rd

  • Women’s - 4x100m - Freestyle Relay - 3:40.47 - Emma Godwin (54.56) Rebecca Moynihan (53.29) Hazel Ouwehand (56.54) Summer Osborne (56.08) - 12th

  • Men’s - 4x100m - Freestyle Relay - 3:10.97 - Cameron Gray (47.93) Carter Swift (46.92) Zac Dell (47.59) George Williams (48.53) - 9th (NZ Record)

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