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Lauren Boyle named NZ swimmer of the year

March 23, 2013
Lauren Boyle

Lauren Boyle

Short course world champion Lauren Boyle has again been crowned New Zealand’s swimmer of the year and will lead a 14-strong team to this year’s world championships in Barcelona.

The team was named tonight at the annual national awards dinner in Auckland, with

fellow London Olympians Gareth Kean, Glenn Snyders and Matt Stanley joining Boyle. Promising Christchurch teenager Sophia Batchelor is also an automatic qualifier.

They join Australian-based Cara Baker, Kane Radford, Emma Robinson and Philip Ryan who all qualified for the open water competition at their national championships in January.

The team also includes five young swimmers who qualified under the Rio development criteria as demonstrating acceleration towards the target of the 2016 Olympics – born in 1990 or later and achieving a “B” qualifying team at the national championships over the last week

They are Shaun Burnett, Nathan Capp, Mitchell Donaldson, Samantha Lee and Samantha Lucie-Smith.

New Swimming NZ chief executive Christian Renford says his organisation is encouraged by results from the national championships and “world-class performances.”

That certainly applies to Boyle, who set the fastest time in the world this year in her 800m freestyle win – the same event in which she finished fourth at the London Olympics and win the world short course title in December.

“Five performances rated in the top 12 in the year for 2012, which of course was enhanced in terms of quality as an Olympic year,” Renford said.

“Both Luis [Villanueva], the high performance director, and myself are new to the organisation and new to the country and we have been impressed with the attitude and aptitude of both our senior swimmers and the important next young development group.

“They have stood up at the championships and overall the team provides an excellent platform for the future.

“It is just the start for this group and for us as a sport. The team face some hard work in the next four months leading up to the world championships and some big challenges if we are to realise our goals for next year’s Commonwealth Games, the Rio Olympics and beyond.”

Additionally four teenagers have been selected for the New Zealand team for the world junior championships to be staged in Dubai.

Selection was based on achieving a “B” qualifying time at the championships with the team including 13-year-old prospects Bobbi Gichard from Hawkes Bay and Gabrielle Fa’amausili from Auckland.

They will be joined by 16 year old Queensland-based Michael Minchum (Auckland) and Hamilton 17 year old Bradley Ashby.

Staff for both teams will be announced shortly.

The Aqua Blacks team to contest the FINA World Championships in Barcelona in July is:

Cara Baker (Howick Pakuranga, Counties Manukau), Sophia Batchelor (AquaGym, Christchurch), Lauren Boyle (North Shore), Shaun Burnett (North Shore), Nathan Capp (Greerton, Tauranga), Mitchell Donaldson (North Shore), Gareth Kean (Capital, Wellington), Samantha Lee (Capital), Emma Robinson (Capital), Philip Ryan (Waterhole, Auckland), Samantha Lucie-Smith (Capital), Kane Radford (Rotorua Aquatics), Glenn Snyders (North Shore), Matthew Stanley (Matamata).

Swimming New Zealand Awards:

Emerging Swimmer of the Year: Corey Main – Howick Pakuranga; Performance Swimming Club of the Year: North Shore; Community Swimming Club of the Year: Ashburton; National  Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Boyle (North Shore); Bill Matson Technical Official of the Year: Jo Davidson (Auckland); Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Cara Baker (Howick Pakuranga); Kiwi Swim Safe School of the Year: Bell Block School (New Plymouth); Quality Swim School of the Year: AC Baths Swim School (Taupo); Swimmer of the Year with a Disability: Sophie Pascoe (QE II); Relay Team of the Year: Men’s 4×100 Medley team – Gareth Kean, Glenn Snyders, Carl O’Donnell, Andrew McMillan; International Long Course Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Boyle; Swimming New Zealand Club Coach of the Year: Roly Crichton (QE II); Swimming New Zealand High Performance Coach of the Year: Mark Regan; People’s Choice Award: Mary Fisher (Capital); Billie Fitzsimmons Cup: Lauren Boyle; NZ Masters Swimming – Swimmer of the Year: Kath Johnstone; New Zealand Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Boyle.

Fairfax NZ News

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