Event Wrap of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup - Athens (Greece)
The second of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cups was held in Athens, Greece, over the weekend. The same five swimmers from New Zealand took part in Athens as they did in Berlin last weekend, with the back-to-back racing presenting the opportunity for international experience leading into 2024. The NZ swimmers who took part were Erika Fairweather, Caitlin Deans, Zac Reid, Kane Follows and Emma Godwin.
The first day saw Erika Fairweather win gold in the Women's 400m Freestyle in a time of 4:01.90, backing up from her gold medal a week earlier in Berlin. Australia's Lani Pallister went stroke for stroke with Fairweather through the first 350m, before Fairweather pulled away in a powerful final 50m to showcase her strong finishing prowess.
Erika Fairweather was pleased with her performance backing up with 400m Freestyle titles.
"It's super exciting. I love every opportunity to race the 400m Freestyle so to do it three weeks in a row is so cool. I think there is something really beneficial in finishing strong in the last 50m so that's been my game plan."
Caitlin Deans also finished 7th in the Women's 400m Freestyle final (4:12.30), having improved in ranking from her 9th place in Berlin.
Kane Follows was consistent in the Men's 200m Backstroke, touching 5th in the final just outside the time he posted in Berlin (1:59.51).
Zac Reid was the third fastest qualifier into the Men's 400m Freestyle final, before touching 8th after negative splitting his race (3:52.87).
Emma Godwin touched 13th in the Women's 50m Backstroke (29.21) after a great reaction time off the start.
All of the swimmers were in action again on the second day, with Erika Fairweather taking home the silver medal again in the Women's 200m Freestyle (1:56.71), just outside her time from last week. Caitlin Deans put in a strong heats swim to place 10th (2:01.38).
Zac Reid worked his way through the field at the back end of the Men's 800m Freestyle to place 5th (8:08.90).
Emma Godwin made the final in the Women's 100m Backstroke, touching 7th (1:01.76) in a race where Australian Kaylee McKeown nearly broke the World Record.
Kane Follows swam the Men's 50m Backstroke and finished 13th (26.64) from the heats.
Caitlin Deans had the headline performance of our Kiwi swimmers on the third day, claiming the bronze medal in the Women's 1500m Freestyle (16:21.06).
Speaking after the race, Deans mentioned the training environment that has been created in Dunedin.
"We (Erika and Caitlin) train together in the same squad along with some other great guys. We are pretty lucky down in Dunedin and push each other daily so credit to our coaches."
Emma Godwin swam consistently to finish 4th in the Women's 200m Backstroke (2:12.58).
Erika Fairweather swam the Women's 100m Freestyle final and touched 5th (55.34) in a stacked field with loads of international experience.
Zac Reid rounded out his schedule in the Men's 200m Freestyle finishing 8th in the final (1:53.56).
Kane Follows finished 10th in the Men's 100m Backstroke (55.85) to round out his weekend of racing.
At the completion of the meet, Fairweather had the 6th most female points accumulated from the first two World Cups, with one more to come next weekend. Congratulations Erika!
Some of our kiwis will continue on with their training in Europe before the next World Cup leg in Budapest, Hungary, from 20 - 22 October. We wish the best of luck to our swimmers as they prepare for the final meet in the World Cup series!