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Kiwis Excel at Oceania Championships

Event Wrap of the 2024 Oceania Championships


A team of seven New Zealand swimmers headed to the Gold Coast for the 2024 Oceania Championships held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre from the 21st to the 24th of April.

The first two nights of finals saw the swimmers not only battling against each other but also the elements as rain and wind pelted down on the outdoor Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.


Simon Maine, Paralympic Programme Lead, said it was a great learning opportunity for the swimmers to perform under different conditions.

"With the Oceania Championships being outdoors, the team were at the mercy of the weather. The first two days were really challenging and the swimmers stepped up racing through torrential rain and wind. When the sun came out they continued to record some impressive swims and learnt a lot about performing in extreme conditions."

Day One

It was a 1-2 finish for New Zealand in the Men's 50m Butterfly with Chris Elson (Vikings - 24.31) and Jacky Hendy (Club37 - 24.89) taking Gold and Silver and being the only swimmers under the 25 second barrier. Jesse Welsh (Club 37) was our first female medal winner, winning Silver in the Women's 100m Backstroke in a time of 1:03.81. Joel Crampton (Capital) took advantage of a less than full final in the Men's 200m Butterfly, finishing the race in 2:03.34 and claiming Silver. Neve Tassicker (Nga Tai Tuatea a Taraika) followed suit in the Women's 200m Butterfly winning the Silver in a time of 2:16.18. The night was concluded with the Mixed 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay. Jack Hendy, Jesse Welsh, Pheobe Nelson, and Chris Elson brought home the silver for NZ in a speedy 1:38.52.


Day Two

The second night of racing was another successful night for the kiwis. Neve Tassicker added another silver to her collection in the Women's 400m Individual Medley. Jack Hendy won his first Oceania title for the championships in the Men's 50m Backstroke with a time of 26.30. Jesse Welsh added a bronze medal to her belt in the Women's 100m Freestyle. Another Gold medal and title was won by Chris Elson in the Men's 100m Freestyle in 51.25, just slower then his performance in NZ the week prior. The night was once again closed with the Mixed 4 x 50m Medley Relay. Jesse Welsh, Joel Crampton, Chris Elson, and Pheobe Nelson couldn't quite keep up with Australia and had to settle for Silver in 1:51.51.


Day Three

Night three was a quieter night for the Kiwis but still very successful. Esme Patterson (Neptune & Swim Dunedin) took her first medal for the championships in the Women's 100m Butterfly, winning Silver in 1:01.32. Undefeated Chris Elson continued in his winning ways by winning the Men's 100m Butterfly in 54.52 with Joel Crampton on the podium with Bronze in 56.69. The final New Zealander for the session was Jesse Welsh in the Women's 200m Backstroke taking the silver in 2:18.64.


Day Four

The last night of racing saw the Kiwis only compete in four finals. Jack Hendy ended Chris Elson's winning streak by out touching him the Men's 50m Freestyle in a time of 23.13, just in front of Elson's 23.19. Pheobe Nelson (Otaki Titans) won her first individual medal by winning Bronze in the Women's 50m Freestyle. Neve Tassicker took her opportunity by being the sole competitor and claimed an Oceania Title in the Women's 800m Freestyle.


After a successful championships, Chris Elson was proud of the way the team represented New Zealand.

"As a new team, and for some of the swimmers swimming their first International meet, to come away with everyone winning medals and some PB's with the challenging weather conditions, I feel the team performed to a high standard and we should all be proud and feel privileged to have use this event as a learning experience."

Congratulations everyone, the team came home with 6 gold medals, 10 silver, and 3 bronze medals with every swimmer standing on the podium.

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