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Masters Swimmers Ready For Showdown in Auckland

Event Preview - 2024 NZ Masters Swimming Championships

We are looking forward to hosting the 2024 NZ Masters Swimming Championships for the second consecutive year in collaboration with NZ Masters Swimming. The racing starts from 12pm on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre.

There are 160 swimmers competing over the weekend, an increase on the numbers from the 2023 championships held in Hawke's Bay. The championships are open to anyone aged 18+ to be involved, and we have a spread of ages taking part. Our youngest competitor is Sarah Gutsell (20 years old) right through to Dick Smith (90 years old), so the championships are catering to swimmers of all ages as they look to Unlock Their Greatness in the pool this weekend.

One initiative that has grown since last year is the number of swimmers participating that aren't affiliated to any club, with 27 participants gearing up to race without being an annual member of either Swimming NZ or NZ Masters Swimming. This initiative has been implemented to provide an opportunity for more Kiwis to be active in the water and don the togs for a social race.

Swimming NZ's Head of Participation, Competitions & Engagement, Dale Johnson, is looking forward to being involved.

"These championships have a great vibe, with lots of support for one another during the racing. We love being able to provide this opportunity for adult swimmers of all ages to have the chance to race. It will be great to watch some of our current Aquablacks prepare for Paris as they line up against swimmers of all ages and I can't wait to get the chance to race in some of the shorter events too."

Across the weekend, there are 7 of our current Aquablacks racing in select events. For some of these swimmers, it will be the first time in a long time they race in a mixed field and the first time they will enjoy racing at a Masters competition.

Swimming NZ's Olympic Programme Lead, Gary Francis, sees this weekend as an important racing opportunity as the swimmers fine tune their preparations for Paris.

"A lot of our team will be racing this weekend as one of the last long course racing opportunities before Paris. This is a great opportunity for them, but also for our Masters community to see them in action and get the opportunity to race alongside them just weeks out from the Games."

All eyes will be on the first event of the championships, as Erika Fairweather and Caitlin Deans (both Neptune & Swim Dunedin) continue their preparation for Paris as they suit up for the 200m and 400m Freestyle. We look forward to watching Hazel Ouwehand (Phoenix Aquatics) in the 50m and 100m Butterfly, Kane Follows (Neptune & Swim Dunedin) in the 50m and 200m Backstroke, Cameron Gray (Coast) will also be in the 200m Freestyle and Carter Swift (Club 37) will be racing the 100m Freestyle.

Cameron Leslie (Whangarei) headlines the six Multi-Class swimmers this weekend as he prepares for the Paralympics racing in the 50m Backstroke, 100m and 200m Freestyle.

Fresh from their performances at the 2024 World Aquatics Masters Championships in Doha earlier this year, bronze medallist Kyla Steenhart (Roskill Masters) and Raphael Marinzeck Borborema (Tasman Gold) will be in action.

Three club coaches are also looking to showcase their swimming prowess, with Rio Olympian Tracy Breuer (Kiwi West Masters), recently awarded King's Service Medal recipient Sandra Burrow (Trent Bray Swim School Masters) and Glen Findlay (Nelson South) in action.

Experienced swimmers such as Aquablack #130 Richard Lockhart (SwimTastic Masters) and Aquablack #245 Laura Quilter are also returning to the pool for the weekend of racing.

Quilter is looking forward to continuing her return to racing after setting 3 personal best at the 2024 Apollo Projects NZ Swimming Championships in April.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do off a new approach to training and enjoying the sprint distance events."

Quilter is also providing a clinic before racing for those who wish to get some final tips before racing over the weekend, starting from 9.30am on Saturday morning.

It's bound to be an exciting weekend of racing with swimmers from all ages Unlocking Their Greatness are active in the water this winter. Good luck to all of the swimmers taking part.

Feel free to come along to watch the action pool side or follow along via our social media channels.

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