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2019 Aon New Zealand Open Championships

The 2019 Aon New Zealand Open Championships saw athletes in record breaking form, with a impressive number of records tumbling at Auckland’s Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre.

Thirty six of Swimming Canterbury West Coast's top athletes, from ten clubs around the Region.

The championships was the qualification event for the 2019 FINA World Championships, the 2019 Junior World Championships and the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, with some of our athletes hoping to make the tough qualifying criteria for selection to these teams.

Sophie Pascoe (QEII) set the tone from day one of the Championships, breaking two World Para Swimming records right off the bat. The first in the Women's S9 50m Freestyle with a  time of 27.32 and the second in the Women's S9 100m Backstroke with a time of 1:07.41.
Sophie followed that up with two more World Para-Swimming World Records in the Women's S9100m Butterfly heat, with a time of 1:04.87, then broke it again in the finals when she swam an impressive 1:02.48.

Sophie broke her fourth WPS World Record of the week in the Women's S8 100m Freestyle, finishing in a record-breaking time of 59.78. She also won gold in the Women's Multi Class 200m Individual Medley, with all of these swims under the qualifying time for the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships (WPS), being held in London this September. 

Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) was also in fine form for these Championships, earning himself a NZ Title in the Men’s Multi-Class 100m Breaststroke, three silvers in the 100m Backstroke, 50m Butterfly and 200IM Multi Class, and a bronze in the 100m Freestyle Multi-Class. Celyn’s outstanding performances also qualifying him to compete at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships.

In the Men's 400m Freestyle, Lane Stone (Aquagym) clocked a time of 3:55.65 for the silver medal, and 18-year-old Quinton Hurley (Jasi) came third with a time of 3:57.59.

Quinton added this to his silver medals in the 800m and 1500m Freestyle, with times good enough to qualify for a berth on the NZ team heading to the 2019 World Junior Championships in August.

The A Final of the Men's 50m Butterfly was an extremely close race with Ollie Rayner (North Canterbury) taking the silver and breaking his own SCWC Open Record with a time of 24.68

And not to be outdone by his older compatriots, Taiko Torepe-Ormsby (Wharenui) took his racing to the next level when he broke the New Zealand 15 years Age Record in the morning heats of the Men’s 50m Backstroke with a time of 26.78, then broke the record again in the finals with a time of 26.43. Taiko also broke the SCWC 50m Butterfly record, which he had set at NZ Age Group Champs only last month.

Another younger member of the team, 15-year-old Ella Benn (Selwyn), had an outstanding NZ Opens, claiming an amazing four NZ Titles in the 50m Butterfly, 50m Backstroke 200m Freestyle and 400m Freestyle Multi Class, as well as third place in the 50m and 100m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke and 200IM Multi Class 

Hannah Bates (Aquagym) was also in fine form bringing home two silver medals in the 200IM and the 100m Butterfly events, with Kaylee Jackson (Jasi) claiming her silver in the 50m Breaststroke.

Ieuan Edwards (Selwyn) also put in some fantastic medal winning performances, with a silver in the 100m Breaststroke Multi Class, and two bronze medals, in the 50m and 400m Freestyle Multi Class.

Gus Kelliher (Nth Canterbury) smashed his way through two SCWC Age Group records taking 2 seconds of the 100m Backstroke and over 3 seconds off the 200m Backstroke records (Men’s 17yrs). And teammate Jeremy Tasker (Nth Canterbury) had an outstanding swim in the 200IM, to overthrow Matthew Hutchins’ 6 year-old SCWC Open record in the event.

Congratulations to all of our athletes on their amazing achievements at this event, and best of luck and great swimming to Sophie, Celyn and Quinton at your upcoming International meets- we can't wait to cheer you all on!