Snyders breaks NZ record, makes semifinals

TOP TIME: Glenn Snyders set a new New Zealand record in winning his 100m breaststroke heat in 59.78s.
TOP TIME: Glenn Snyders set a new New Zealand record in winning his 100m breaststroke heat in 59.78s.

Glenn Snyders has opened New Zealand's London Olympic swimming campaign in record-breaking style.

Winning his 100m breaststroke heat in 59.78s, Snyders took 0.16s off his own national record to qualify fifth fastest for the semifinals.

The Auckland 25-year-old was just 0.16s off Australia's Christian Sprenger who qualified fastest.

"I'm very happy. I wanted to go under a minute, which I did. I'm stoked with my swim," Snyders told Fairfax Media.

"I wanted to have a good heat swim and luckily I did because I think about 12 people broke one minute, that's very fast indeed.

"I woke up this morning and was a little bit nervous. I got to the pool, had a good warm-up and the nerves kind of just went.

"I backed myself and that's what I need to do from now on, just back yourself, believe in your training and it will come.

"I gave it everything, I'm going to go warm-down now, have a massage, ice bath, do all the protocol and just get myself ready to swim that race again."

The 100m breaststroke semifinals get underway at 7.30am.

Elsewhere, Olympic debutant Matt Stanley missed out on the 400m freestyle final after finishing 14th in the heats.

Stanley's time of 3:49.44 was almost two seconds off his national record.

The Matamata swimmer was upbeat after his first Olympic display, ruing a weak final 100m.

"I was going really well until about 300m, that last 100m, where I can usually lift, I just didn't have that today," Stanley said.

"It's something to work on but I'm pretty happy with the start of my Olympics.

"The preparation went really well, it was just really the last 100m of that race and I probably would have been in the final. It's a shame, but I'm happy with where I'm at.

"I felt really good in warm-up, I'm happy enough with that. It's the best I've ever swum in the morning so that's another thing I can work on.

"Getting that first one out of the way will be good."

Stanley returns to the Aquatic Centre tonight for the heats of the 200m freestyle.

In the women's 400m individual medley, Natalie Wigersma, also in her first-ever Olympic race, had a disappointing heat, four-and-a-half seconds off her personal best.

"It's a bit disappointing. On the plus side, I can now finally call myself an Olympian, but that swim won't cut the mustard," Wigersma said.

"It's not really what we came here for, we came here to swim personal bests. If I wanted to make a final I knew I had to do that in the morning.

"I didn't really go my way.

"I'm hoping that the 200m might go better for me on Monday, I'm ranked a bit higher in that so hopefully, if I play my cards right I can get a semifinal out of that one."

Finally the women's 4x100m freestyle relay of Natasha Hind, Penelope Marshall, Amaka Gessler and Hayley Palmer finished 14th overall.

Marshall and Gessler have now made their Olympic debuts while Palmer said the relay was a good way to ease into her Olympic campaign, which continues on Friday with the 50m freestyle.

Fairfax Media