Matt Stanley into 200m free final at Pan Pacifics

Last updated 14:59 21/08/2014
OPTIMISTIC: Matamata freestyler Matt Stanley is ready to mix it with the top Australians in the pool at Glasgow.
Lawrence Smith/Fairfax NZ
GOOD START: NZ swimmer Matt Stanley has reached the 200m freestyle final on the first night of the Pan Pacific Champs.

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Swimmer Matt Stanley has qualified for the 200m freestyle final on a decent first session for New Zealand at the Pan Pacific championships on the Gold Coast today.

Matamata's Stanley squeezed in to the final after clocking 1:48.74 - grabbing the last spot in the field for tonight's race.

He will join Aucklander and Commonwealth champion Lauren Boyle in tonight's session of finals, with Boyle set to race against Olympic champion and world record holder Katie Ledecky in the 800m freestyle.

As expected, Boyle, who was down to race in the 200m, 400, 800m and 1500m across the important four-day meet, scratched herself from today's 200m heats to avoid overloading her programme.

Stanley started strongly in the final heat of the 200m freestyle going through 100m in 52.79s, but apparently struggled with the windy, open-air conditions of the new outdoor pool in Southport.

Stanley said reaching the final was the key achievement.

''I qualified that's the main thing although the swim was not as good as I had wanted. It was tough out there with windy conditions although it's the same for everyone,'' Stanley said.

''I am pleased to have the opportunity for another crack at the best tonight.''

Meanwhile, Steven Kent, produced a personal best time of 1:49.00 and will feature in a ''B'' final of the 200m freestyle along with Dunlop-Barrett (1:50.01) who managed to better his Commonwealth Games time.

Also to earn a ''B'' final swim tonight is Samantha Lucie-Smith - 35/100ths of a second off the A final in the 200m freestyle.

''I found that hard. I always find the first swim of any meet tough but here it was my key event. But I have a chance to swim it again tonight,'' Lucie-Smith said.

Finally, Corey Main was a second outside his Glasgow 2014 time in the 100m  backstroke with 55.36s and Samantha Lee posted 2:13.85 in the 200m butterfly.

The Pan Pacific Championships feature full-strength teams from the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, the rest of the Pacific and other non-European nations.

Racing continues at 9pm tonight.

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