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Gaz's World Champs Diary - Competition Day Four

2022 FINA World Championships Diary by Gary Francis "Gaz" - Competition Day Four

Competition Day Four

Happy Birthday Mya! 22 today, still working, preparing for her 400 IM which is still 4 days away.

One of the strategies we have used to keep Mya fresh is a similar one to that used by Gary Hollywood with Lewis in 2019. He also had his event on the final day so Gary kept Lewis away from the competition pool as much as possible, trying to ensure the emotional and mental lift when he did eventually get to train in the competition pool. Like Lewis, Mya has been extremely disciplined throughout and continues to prepare very thoroughly.

Carter Swift National 100m Free Record

Today’s morning session finally gave us our first PB. Carter Swift has worked so hard in camp, especially on his starts, turns and finishes. His coach, Herbert Behm had said to me that if Carter could control his nerves and not get tense he was ready to swim fast. He did and he smashed his PB by 0.71. That’s almost a 1.5% improvement and almost brought him a semi- final swim from a start ranking of 40. Congratulations to Carter and Herbert, and also to Mitch Nairn who has really pushed all the sprint group to be more detailed in what they do while here in Europe. A New Zealand record and a massive boost for our team.

Lewis Clareburt

Having seen his 100m Freestyle National record bite the dust Lewis responded with a very controlled 200IM. Going into the semi- final he was well placed in lane 2. Another great addition to our team has been Elliot Sneddon, our video analyst. Having pointed out some key potential gains for Lewis in the 400IM which really helped him in his final, Elliot again sat with Lewis and Gary H to go through his 200IM heat to find those key gain areas.

After looking at the analysis I sent a quick email to Alastair Johnson saying I thought Lewis could drop to 1:57.6 in his semi-final which might be enough to make the final and on this occasion, for the first time ever the prediction was spot on! Lewis made big gains on the breast to free turn as highlighted in his heat analysis as where time could be shaved. That, and a great 27.9 freestyle split means he has now made five consecutive World and Olympic medley finals.

Watching the 200m Fly World Record

The other highlight tonight was obviously Kristof Milak’s 200m Butterfly World Record. What an incredible, tough, all out effort. I have rarely seen a swimmer so exhausted after a swim. He literally gave it everything. And what a reward in front of thousands of screaming (yes, screaming!) home fans. A world record, a World title and $50,000US to boot! All absolutely deserved by the man who must now be considered Phelps’ equal in the 200m Butterfly.

World Leading Facilities

Just a quick description of the training facilities at the Duna Arena. Apart from the competition pool there is a 10 lane indoor 50 which is 2m deep throughout, and another, exactly the same but outdoors. A short bus ride away is another complex with indoor and outdoor 50m pools. The complex also boasts an outdoor waterpolo pool but that isn’t being used for these Championships. There are also two gym facilities at the Duna but they are also closed to competitors. Gym could have been a problem for us as our hotel doesn’t have a gym. Fortunately a very well equipped and very clean public gym is h just up the road and we were able to buy membership which works out at $5 (NZ) a visit! With only a few athletes still requiring regular gym during competition this is proving a real bargain!

Big Morning Tomorrow

Big morning for our girls tomorrow in the 4 x 200 free relay. Their changeovers looked good tonight and they are all very pumped up for the chance to make a final, which is possible if they swim out of their skins. Carter and Lewis have really inspired their team mates today to believe they can do it. We’ve pulled Laura Littlejohn out of the 100m Freestyle to target a spot in the final of the 4 x 200 and Andrew Jeffcoat is still not 100% so he won’t go in the 200m backstroke, but will be ok for the 50 later in the week.

Day Five Athlete Schedule

Womens 4x 200m Freestyle Relay

22nd June - 8:11pm NZT

Erika Fairweather

Eve Thomas

Caitlin Deans

Laura Littlejohn

How to Watch

You can watch all the action live via pay per view from FINA on Facebook Live. Or view live results for free on the official event website

Follow the Latest

Make sure you're following @swimming_nz on social media to keep to date with the latest athlete interviews, results and excitement from our Aquablacks team at the 2022 FINA World Swimming Championships.

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