Lewis Clareburt breaks another NZ record on eve of Tokyo Olympics

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 12 Apr 2021, 10:57AM
Lewis Clareburt claimed a bronze medal at the World Championships in 2019. Photo / Getty Images
Lewis Clareburt claimed a bronze medal at the World Championships in 2019. Photo / Getty Images

Lewis Clareburt breaks another NZ record on eve of Tokyo Olympics

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 12 Apr 2021, 10:57AM

A stronger contender for a medal in the pool at the Tokyo Olympics is proving he should head into the Games in career-best form.

Lewis Clareburt set his second New Zealand Open record of the week yesterday while meeting the Olympic qualification time in the 200m Individual Medley.

Clareburt beat the previous record (1:59.24) by 1.35 seconds, finishing in 1:57.89 seconds. The previous record was held by Bradlee Ashby in 2017 at the FINA World Championships.

He also took out the men's 100m freestyle in a time of (49.04 seconds) after breaking the NZ Open record previously in the meet in the first leg of the 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay (48.96).

Last week Clareburt also broke the 400 IM NZ record by more than two seconds faster than the time he swam to claim bronze at the 2019 FINA World Championships. ⁠The time would have earned fourth at the last Olympic final.

In other events, backstroke swimmer Andrew Jeffcoat broke a New Zealand Open Record in the 50m backstroke heats. He swam 25.06 seconds, beating the 12-year-old record previously held by Daniel Bell (25.24). Jeffcoat was just 0.02 of a second off breaking the record again in the finals when he swam 25.07.

Nikita Howarth laid down another marker with her fastest time in the 100m breaststroke since the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, clocking 1:33.26 seconds to move to the top of this year's world rankings (SB7) and breaking a new NZ SB7 record.

While she could not quite back that up in the evening, the time was Nikita's third qualification standard for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The Women's multiclass 100m freestyle saw further Tokyo qualifying standards also for Sophie Pascoe (S9), claiming gold in 1:03.86 seconds, to bring her qualifying events to six.

In the Men's multiclass 100m freestyle, Cameron Leslie (S4) from Whangarei Swimming club made it five qualified events for Tokyo 2020, winning in a time of 1:25.39 seconds.