2022 Commonwealth Games Diary by Gary Francis "Gaz" - Competition Day Six
Competition Day Six
And so to our final Day 1!
The athletes who can find that bit extra on the last day will find opportunities where others only see the end of the meet. We have to keep our three swimmers racing fully focused.
Lewis, Erika and Eve are now our three most experienced Olympic Pathway athletes and they knew the morning was all about taking care of the basics - qualify for the final and try not to take too much out of yourself. Both Lewis and Erika as high seeds could swim well within themselves but Eve had to work a bit harder which she did, and in fact it helped remove a lot of the fatigue that the 800 swim the night before had created.
The evening brought the whole team together - the three finalists and their teammates surrounding them early in the team area, creating a real positive energy and great feeling of being as one as a team. The athletes not swimming then seemed to instinctively know when to vacate the team area and leave the finalists to prepare.
Lewis’s final was a true classic, the noise in the arena absolutely deafening. His 1:57.59 wasn’t enough for gold on this occasion but delivered him a third medal of the championship- a bronze to go with his double gold!
The girls in the 400 free knew they were in perhaps the strongest field of the whole meet, with the 3 Australian girls who swept the 800, and Canadian Summer MacIntosh, winner of the 2 medley golds.
Both Kiwi girls swim bravely and fought for every metre, Erika just missing the bronze medal in a time of 4:03.84 - her second fastest ever, and Eve 6th in 4:09.73
It’s been an absolute pleasure to lead this team. The athletes and staff, and the rest of the team back in NZ have been so tight and supportive of each other.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who is part of the New Zealand High Performance Team - that’s athletes, their coaches, SNZ HP staff, HPSNZ and independent Support Providers. I apologise for not naming everyone but please know that the direction we are starting to head in is not a fluke but the result of the work you are all doing.
We’ll enjoy tonight, and the next few days and then we’ll get on with aiming to do everything better.
Results from Day Six evening session:
Lewis 200 IM 1:57.59 Bronze
Erika 400 Freestyle 4:03.84 4th place
Eve 400 Freestyle 4:09.73 6th place
We're also very proud of the roles our officials have played at these Commonwealth Games. Whilst watching the women's racing you might've noticed the familiar voice of Ross Gillespie, who was the starter for all women's events. Lesley Huckins was also in action all week as the referee for male events. An awesome achievement for both of these officials!
Lesley Huckins - Canterbury / West Coast
Ross Gillespie - Northland