History for Lauren Boyle as she wins silver in 1500m at world swimming champs

Lauren Boyle flashes a smile after claiming silver in the 1500m freestyle final at the world champs in Russia.
MATTHIAS HANGST/GETTY IMAGES

Lauren Boyle flashes a smile after claiming silver in the 1500m freestyle final at the world champs in Russia.

New Zealand's star of the pool Lauren Boyle has swum herself into New Zealand swimming history with a silver medal at the world championships in Russia.

Boyle finished second behind world record-setting Katie Ledecky (US) in the 1500m freestyle final.

READ MORE: NZ chasing 14-plus medals

Her fourth medal at this level eclipses the three world championship medals won by double Olympic champion Danyon Loader.

It is only the ninth medal New Zealand has won at the world championships since 1978.

In doing so Boyle smashed her own New Zealand record, clocking a stunning 15:40:14 to take nearly five seconds off her previous record set at the last world championships in Barcelona in 2013.

Boyle, 27, was delighted with a new personal best, as she works towards next year's Rio Olympics.

"Honestly that is the thing I am most proud of," Boyle said. "I think for me improving my time to be better than I have been in the past is the most positive thing and I am so happy to go with a personal best time. That is really exciting.

"I didn't really know what to expect when I was going into race mode.  I knew that if I wanted to have any chance I had to go out with a really fast pace. And I think I got into a pretty good rhythm

"I get two full days off now before the 800m which is good. Definitely it should be good. You never quite know what will happen but I am really happy with that swim tonight and it shows I have some really good fitness."

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The final was dominated by Ledecky, who was in a class of her own to blitz her world record and swim 15:25:48.

Boyle made an aggressive start to push into fourth, then rounded up Australian Jessica Ashwood on the third lap, and double world champion Lotte Friis of Demark at the 700m mark.

Boyle's relentless pace saw her fluctuate by just 0.3 seconds from her fastest to slowest lap aside from the opening 50m and her quite stunning final 50m of 30.52. Along the way she went within a blink of negative splitting the race.

Boyle's effort sparked an outstanding night for the Kiwis with fellow double Olympian Glenn Snyders qualifying for the final of the 50m breaststroke.

Snyders made a  hesitant start to his 50m breaststroke semifinal but fought through the field in the final 15m to touch home in fourth place, and sixth fastest overall. His 27.17s is his second fastest time, a tick behind his national record set three years ago.

The Los Angeles-based swimmer has a chance to grab that record on Thursday in a final which promises to be an exciting affair after two world records in the event on Wednesday, ultimately falling to Adam Peaty (Great Britain) at 26.42s.

In the morning Snyders clocked 27.23s to finish seventh fastest in the semifinal of the 50m breaststroke, in the same heat that South African Cameron van der Burgh broke his own world record in 26.62s.

In the morning heats Tauranga's Nathan Capp broke his New Zealand record the men's 800m freestyle. The 22-year-old was fifth in his heat in 7:57.6.

His time was the 20th fastest and while he has missed out on qualifying, Capp has improved his world ranking by more than 30 places.

Waikato teenager Bradlee Ashby made his world championship debut to clock 2:04.31 to be 33rd ranked in heats of the 200m butterfly.

 - Stuff

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