Boyle tops NZ charts for Pan Pacific champs

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 10:42 25/08/2014
Lauren Boyle
Getty Images
KIWI SWIMMER: Lauren Boyle.

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Lauren Boyle has become New Zealand's all-time most successful woman swimmer at the Pan Pacific championships.

Boyle achieved the feat last night when she won silver in the 1500m freestyle, her third medal of the high-class meet on Australia's Gold Coast.

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

The 26-year-old North Shore swimmer won gold and silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last month.

Last night, Boyle again had to bow to United States teen sensation Katie Ledecky as the 17-year-old destroyed a world record she already held.

Ledecky took almost 6 seconds off her previous mark when winning in 15 mins 28.36sec, with Boyle second in 15:55.69 and Canada's Brittany MacLean third (15:57.15).

New Zealand's Emma Robinson was eighth in 16:44.88.

"I knew Ledecky would be pretty much ahead of the field but I didn't want to race for second place," Boyle said.

"I need to be able to have some good speed at the front end of my races so it's been good to have a focus that I have been able to work on at this meet.

"I went out as hard as I could to try and stay in contact and it really hurt at the end. I felt more true to myself that I didn't just try to come second. It was a tough race. I knew it would be tough but I am happy with my effort."

In Boyle's other medal races she also finished behind 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 golds.

"I am really happy to be on the podium three times here," Boyle said.

"I didn't realise or think about that [my results]. For me it works best if I focus on one race at a time. It's been a long campaign and I am happy with how it's worked out."

Boyle 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 medal lifted her to second spot among all Kiwis - behind just Danyon Loader with four.

Mitchell Donaldson was seventh in the men's 200m individual medley final.

Despite being only 12th fastest in the heats, Donaldson's time of 2:01.45 was enough to get him into the last eight as only two swimmers per nation can contest A finals.

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He improved slightly on that time in the final, clocking 2:01.34 in a race in which Olympic legend Michael Phelps (US) was pipped by Japan's Kosuke Hagino by 0.02s for gold.

"It would have been nice to have a PB tonight but it's been a great learning experience in my first big international final, standing up on the blocks with Michael Phelps in the next lane," Donaldson said.

Glenn Snyders, who 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.

"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.

The New Zealand team of Corey Main, Snyders, Steven Kent and Matthew Stanley then finished sixth in the final in 3:38.46, with a US team featuring Phelps winning gold.

Laura Quilter was was seventh in the women's 50m freestyle B final in 26.10s.

Tomorrow's planned open water competition that had been due to feature Kiwis Kane Radford and Charlotte Webby has been cancelled with the original venue at Southport Marina deemed unsafe after this week's stormy weather and doubtful water quality with the alternative venue, a freshwater lake on the Gold Coast.

Countries have been invited to send open water swimmers to compete at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii on Sunday.

- Stuff

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