NZOC make Glasgow swimming times easier

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 12:49 21/03/2014

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The New Zealand Olympic Committee has agreed to change a number of Commonwealth Games qualifying times - making it easier for Kiwi swimmers to qualify for Glasgow 2014.

On the eve of swimming's April national championships, which double as Commonwealth Games trials, changes have been confirmed to relays and four individual events.

The change in times is for the women's 400m and 800m freestyle, 200m backstroke and the men's 400m freestyle. 

"The nomination times had to be submitted before the conclusion of the world championships and the NZOC selectors have now reconsidered and made these adjustments," said Luis Villanueva, Swimming NZ's high performance director.

The nomination time for the women's 400m freestyle is now 4:07.69 (from 4:07.50), the women's 800m freestyle is now 8:30.12 (from 8:29.73), the women's 200m backstroke now 2:10.15 (from 2:09.53) and the men's 400m freestyle now 3:48.67 (from 3:48.60).

To go to Glasgow, athletes must hit the nomination time before their selection is formally decided by the NZOC.

Villanueva also said Swimming NZ has decided to compress this year's national championships from six days into four.

"This year, on the feedback from coaches and clubs, we have reduced the championships from six days to four," he said.

"We believe that accordingly there is now potential for this to compromise swimmer performance for those who may seek nomination for individual events in the same session as a relay qualifying attempt.

"This adjustment recognises this and gives our swimmers the fairest opportunity to meet the nomination standard for relays."

As well as swimmers seeking nomination for relays as a complete team, selectors are now also able to consider individual accumulated times of swimmers in the strokes that make up each particular relay.

"Relays are an important part of our development programme and one of the best ways for promising swimmers to gain selection and experience the unique atmosphere of an international multisport event," Villaneuva said.

"In the past individual times have been considered with an appropriate adjustment for the takeover between swimmers. However we brought in a new qualifying procedure with complete teams attempting to achieve the standard."

Swimming's national championships will run from April 8-11 in Auckland.

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- Fairfax Media

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