Swimming: NZ claim five places for Rio

New Zealand swimmer Sophie Pascoe.
New Zealand swimmer Sophie Pascoe.
New Zealand swimmers delivered at the right time and are now well placed to press on to next year's Rio Paralympics after a strong performance at the IPC world championships in Glasgow.

The target of five places in the Rio meet was achieved along with a clutch of medals from the six-day event.

"This has been an outstanding meet for the New Zealand team," head coach Jon Shaw said.

"I could not be more proud. With just over one year to go until Rio 2016, we are in a great position and we will move forward with plenty of momentum."

Wellington visually impaired swimmer Mary Fisher grabbed her fifth and final medal yesterday, a silver in the S11 category 50m freestyle, clocking 31.78 seconds, .60s behind China's Li Guizhi.

Rebecca Dubber finished sixth in the S7 category 50m freestyle in 36.95s, a personal best at the meet and just her second time under 37s.

The New Zealand women's team of Dubber, Nikita Howarth, Sophie Pascoe and Georgia Gray finished seventh in the 4 x 100m medley relay in 5min 09.48s.

There were six medals for Canterbury's Pascoe, who along with Fisher dominated the medal haul.

Paralympics New Zealand's high performance director Malcolm Hunn was delighted with the return.

"We set ourselves the ambitious target of 15 medals, to test our systems and structures as preparation for Rio, and provide new, emerging talent, athletes with the opportunity to gain high-quality international experience as preparation for Rio and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. We have accomplished all these goals, which bodes well for the future."

Medal haul
•New Zealand para swimmers won eight gold medals, six silver and two bronze at the IPC world championships, which ended in Glasgow yesterday.
•Mary Fisher (three gold, two silver) and Sophie Pascoe (three gold, a silver and two bronze) were the top contributors.
•Nikita Howarth won two gold medals, Rebecca Dubber two silvers and Cameron Leslie one silver.
•The performances secured five slots at the Rio Paralympics for New Zealand and enabled them to finish top of the medal table on a per capita basis.

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