Synders claims Pan Pacs breaststroke bronze
Glenn Snyders scored a breakthrough bronze medal in adverse conditions on the second night of finals at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast on Friday night.
The 27-year-old won the bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke, hanging on after a blistering first 50m that saw him lead the field. He held on to finish third in 1min 00.18sec to give New Zealand their second medal following Lauren Boyle's silver medal on Thursday.
New Zealand has only won multiple individual medals four times previously at the Pan Pacific Championships, which draws full strength teams from USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, the rest of the Pacific and other non-European nations.
The two medals so far from Boyle and Snyders equals the effort in 1995 when Danyon Loader won two, with New Zealand now chasing the three medals earned in 1989 and 1991, and four in 1993.
The wet and wild night ended on a high for the Kiwis with two national records set in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay.
Matthew Stanley produced a superb 1:47.09s to break his own New Zealand 200m freestyle record. He combined with teammates Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (1:48.98), Steven Kent (1:48.89) and Mitchell Donaldson (1:48.87) to clock 7:13.83 to break the previous national record of 7:14.05 set in 2012.
It was an important result for Snyders, who has not always delivered on his world class abilities in major meets in the past five years.
"This means a lot. It is a good feeling. It has been a long process and a long couple of years," Snyders said.
"I decided to swim it to win it. The swim felt really good especially in those conditions. I died a little bit at the end which was to be expected.
"I wanted to go out as hard as I could. May be 27.70 was a little too fast but I felt relaxed and good - it was just that last 10 metres that I faded a little but it worked."
Snyders said his form had been consistent over the past two months without managing a breakthrough result.
"It has been a tough two months of racing and my times have been quite consistent - about five or six swims under a minute point five. It shows the consistency is there. It is a good step towards Rio. It's great to get a medal."
The Los Angeles-based swimmer said he was buoyed by Boyle's medal-winning swim last night.
"I am inspired by Lauren's swims over the last two years. She is the best swimmer in New Zealand and it is inspiring to watch her swim and took something from that. I watched and cheered her in the stands last night and I said to myself I could do it too."
He will talk to coaches tomorrow but may even forgo the final of the 200m breaststroke in favour of a big effort in the men's medley relay which is on the same night.
"If the team gets up it is the last race of the PanPacs and I think we can do something special and I may put that ahead of the 200 breaststroke."
In other swims Samantha Lucie-Smith dipped under the 56 second barrier to finish seventh in the B final with Laura Quilter in eighth.
The women's quartet of Boyle (1:59.51), Lucie-Smith (2:00.90), Samantha Lee (2:02.34) and Emma Robinson (2:01.83) were timed at 8:04.58 to finish fifth in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay.
Tomorrow's third day features Lee in the 100m butterfly, Boyle, Lucie-Smith and Robinson in the women's 400m freestyle, Stanley, Dunlop-Barrett and Ewan Jackson in the men's 400m freestyle, Corey Main in the 200m backstroke as well as the 4x100m freestyle relays for women and men.
In Friday's morning session, Synders was fourth fastest in heats in his first swim of the meet at the newly-refurbished. multi-million dollar outdoor facility at Southpor.
Snyders clocked 1:00.20 to win his heat with American Kevin Cordes leading all qualifiers in 59.70s.
Snyders is the third Kiwi to reach an 'A' final following Boyle winning only New Zealand's second Pan-Pacs medal since 2000 with silver in the 800m freestyle, and Matthew Stanley bringing home the field in the men's 200m final.
Elsewhere in Friday's heats, the North Shore's Laura Quilter equalled her best with a 55.87s to earn a second swim - just enough to take the final berth in the "B" final.
Lucie-Smith and Lee were again off the pace though, clocking 56.25s and 57.52s respectively, while Australian sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell were fastest in 52.62s and 53.50s.
Steven Kent was best of the Kiwis in the men's 100m freestyle, 35th fastest ahead of Jackson, in an event which featured Michael Phelps.