Swimming: Five Games qualifying standards met

World-class competitor Lauren Boyle led the way on the opening day of the New Zealand championships in Auckland yesterday as five Commonwealth Games qualifying performances were achieved.

Boyle smashed her own national record to win the women's 200m freestyle in 1min 57.67sec, the 11th-fastest time in the world this year and the fifth-fastest in the Commonwealth. Joining her with performances under the qualifying mark for Glasgow were Matthew Stanley (Matamata) in the 400m freestyle, US-based Glenn Snyders in the 200m breaststroke, the women's 4x200m freestyle relay team and brilliant Paralympian Sophie Pascoe in the 200m individual medley.

That means seven swimmers will be considered for nomination from the first night of the four-day meet at the West Wave Aquatic Centre in Henderson.

Boyle not only broke her record but dragged the key women from the Capital club - Samantha Lucie-Smith, Emma Robinson and Tash Hind - under the combined adjusted time to be considered for selection in the women's 200m freestyle relay.

Boyle was delighted with her performance and, despite her international ranking, was relieved to get a qualifying time under her belt.

''I'm feeling happy to post a good time. I wasn't feeling great in warm-ups so I just wanted to really try and enjoy the race,'' Boyle said.

Stanley set the tone for the night when he went under the qualifying time in the men's 400m freestyle, clocking 3min 47.90sec, nearly 1sec under the standard and only 0.23sec outside his own national record.

Snyders was only 0.7sec outside the qualifying mark in the morning heat of the 200m breaststroke, but made sure of it with a quality swim last night.

He was a full second faster through the halfway mark and home in 2min 11.07sec, his fastest time since the London Olympics.

Pascoe was in a class of her own with a superb effort in the morning heat of the 200m individual medley S10.

The world record holder clocked 2min 31.50sec, 14sec under the qualifying time, and only 6sec outside her world record.

In other swims, North Shore's Laura Quilter edged US-based Canterbury swimmer Sophia Batchelor to win the 50m butterfly while Dunedin veteran Kurt Crosland won the men's 50m backstroke.

Hind, who qualified for the relay earlier in the night, rushed home over the freestyle leg to win the 200m individual medley, while Australian-based North Shore swimmer, Shaun Burnett prevailed in the 200m butterfly in a close battle with Capital's Isaac Foote.

The championships continue until Friday.

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