Conditions will favour Webby's London bid

17:00, Jun 07 2012

New Plymouth's Charlotte Webby is aiming to be the second Taranaki swimmer this week to make the Olympics.

Cool water temperatures and strong tides are expected to favour the four New Zealand swimmers in the final Olympic qualifier for the 10km open water swim in Portugal at the weekend.

Webby and three other New Zealanders will be fighting to fill a spot among the remaining nine places open in the men's and women's competition for London.

Oakura man Dylan Dunlop-Barrett, who regularly trains with Webby, heard this week he will represent New Zealand in the 4x200m freestyle relay team.

Swimming New Zealand open water manager Philip Rush took the quartet of Webby, Cara Baker, Jonathan Pullon and Kane Radford to Europe three days ago.

"We wanted to ensure they were able to settle after the travel and be well prepared. The hotel has filled up now and there's a real buzz of expectation," Rush said.

The water temperature in Setubal Bay, just south of Lisbon, is 16 degrees Celsius.

"It's cold, for sure, and that will suit our swimmers. They have come out of cold conditions at home and are used to swimming in this," Rush said. He is predicting stern competition for the New Zealanders, with 62 men entered and 40 women.

Of the nine spots remaining to complete the fields for London, only one swimmer per nation is eligible to qualify.


Taranaki Daily News