Stars seal Glasgow qualifying spots

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 09/04/2014

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New Zealand's elite swimmers immediately grabbed automatic spots for the Commonwealth Games last night.

Matthew Stanley, Lauren Boyle and Glenn Snyders all won on the opening night of finals at the New Zealand Open swimming championships in Henderson to grab places in the national team for Glasgow later this year.

Boyle was joined by the Wellington trio of Sam-Lucie Smith, Emma Robinson and Tash Hind as part of a women's 4x200m relay team after the combined times of the first four finishers bettered the relay qualifying standard.

Stanley set the night off in fine style, winning the men's 400m freestyle final while going under the qualifying time for Glasgow.

The 2012 London Olympian had to better the qualifying mark of 3min 48.67sec and finished strongly to win in 3:47.90.

"I'm really happy," Stanley said. "That's the main point of this meet, to qualify, and that takes a lot of the pressure off now."

Boyle entered the four-day meet short of her best form after falling ill during an altitude training camp in Arizona last month, but the North Shore swimmer still managed to set a New Zealand record of 1:57.67 to win the 200m freestyle, almost half a second under the qualifying mark.

Snyders, part of the New Zealand team in London two years ago with Stanley and Boyle, won the men's 200m breaststroke in 2:11.07, almost 1.5sec better than the qualifying time and said he had been inspired by Stanley and Boyle's successes.

"I fed from those two," said the US-based Snyders, who is also likely to qualify in the 100m breaststroke.

The New Zealand team to attend the Commonwealth Games will be named at the end of the meet on Friday night. Fairfax NZ

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