Unprecedented success for NZ swimmer Boyle

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 21:35 24/08/2014

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Lauren Boyle became New Zealand's most successful women's swimmer in the history of the Pan Pacific championships tonight.

Boyle picked up her third medal of the high-class meet on Australia's Gold Coast when she won silver in the final of the 1500 metres freestyle.

The 26-year-old North Shore swimmer, who won gold and silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last month, again had to bow to United States teen sensation Katie Ledecky as the 17-year-old destroyed the world record mark she already held.

Ledecky took almost six seconds off her previous mark when winning in 15 mins 28.36 seconds, with Boyle second and Canada's Brittany MacLean third.

On Saturday night, Boyle won bronze in the 400m freestyle final to add to her silver from the 800m freestyle on Thursday night.

On both occasions, Boyle finished behind the phenomenal Ledecky, who also set a world record in winning the 400m gold, breaking her own mark.

Boyle's efforts at the Pan Pacs were reminiscent of her three bronze medals from last year's world champs in Barcelona, where Ledecky claimed three gold.

Ledecky's 400m winning time of 3 minutes 58.37 seconds broke the previous mark of 3:59.15 set by Italy's Federica Pellegrini. Boyle was third in 4:05.33, producing a strong late finish to get bronze behind Ledecky and her US team-mate Cierra Rungge (4:04.55).

''I wanted to go out fast but I didn't do that so I had to have a really strong back end to make up for that,'' Boyle said.

''I could see the Canadian [MacLean] at the other side of the pool that I knew I had to touch-out if I wanted to make the top three.

''Ledecky is an extremely good swimmer and it's an honour to swim with her. It's awesome to get another podium finish,'' said Boyle, who became only the sixth New Zealand swimmer to be a multiple medallist in the history of the Pan Pacs.

Anthony Mosse, Anna Simcic, Trent Bray and Paul Kingsman have two Pan Pacs medals, while Boyle's third lifted her to second spot among all Kiwis - behind just Danyon Loader with four.

Mitchell Donaldson was another Kiwi set to contest a final last night despite being only 12th fastest in the heats of the men's 200m individual medley.

Donaldson's time of 2:01.45 was enough to get him into the last eight though as only two swimmers per nation can contest A finals.

The Sydney-based Donaldson was half a second outside his best.

''That was OK , it was just the freestyle that I need to pick up but otherwise okay for a morning swim,'' he said .

Glenn Snyders clocked 2:13.77 to be ninth fastest and seventh qualifier in the 200m breaststroke opted out of the final  to focus on the men's 4x100m medley relay.

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''I've not been focusing  on this distance and really I've been in taper now for too long with this meet after the Commonwealth Games,'' Snyders said.

Counties Manukau teenager Corey Main was seventh in the 200m backstroke final in 1:59.63 on Saturday night. That was short of his best but still a sign of the potential he displayed in Glasgow.

''I wasn't particularly happy with my results here in Pan Pacs after a really good campaign in Glasgow,'' Main said.

''I am going to step up my training when I go back to Florida. I am keen to get in to it.''

- Fairfax Media

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