Stanley, Howarth, relay team into Games finals
IAN ANDERSON IN GLASGOW
A buoyant Matthew Stanley will chase a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Saturday morning (6.27am NZ time).
Stanley rapidly bounced back from a poor showing in the men's 400m freestyle on day one to make the final of the 200m event.
The Matamata swimmer was third in his heat in 1:47.16, just .03s off his own national record to put him fifth-fastest and within reach of a medal in the final at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.
His fellow Kiwis Dylan Dunlop-Barrett and Mitchell Donaldson weren't far off their best as they missed out on making the final.
Glenn Snyders also looked like a man on the verge of a medal going by his impressive heat performance.
The New Zealand men's 100m breaststroke specialist won his heat in one minute 00.75 seconds to qualify third-fastest for the semifinals (from 7.05am NZT), with the final to be held the following day.
The California-based Kiwi will be chasing new title favourite Adam Peaty of England, after he headed the semifinal qualifiers by setting a new CG record in winning his heat convincingly in 59.47s.
The men's breaststroke events have drawn world-class fields, as illustrated by Scotland's Ross Murdoch coming close to the world record when winning the 200m final on opening night in a home nation 1-2 with Michael Jamieson.
Murdoch was second-fastest qualifier in the 100m in 1:00.63, just ahead of Snyders, who beat home last year's world championship silver medallist Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa in his heat.
Last year's world champion Christian Sprenger of Australia, who looked short of his best in the 200m, was 11th fastest into the semis, just behind Jamieson.
Cambridge teenager Nikita Howarth was fifth in the para-swim 100m freestyle S8 discipline after having to move up in class to compete and will contest the final.
The NZ men's 4x100m freestyle relay team of Ewan Jackson, Steve Kent, Corey Main and Dunlop-Barrett were third in their heat in 3:20.94, behind Scotland and Canada and qualified in sixth place for the final, set for 8.25am NZT.