Boyle reigns supreme to claim third national title

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014

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Lauren Boyle's reign as queen of the pool continued in style in Auckland last night.

The North Shore swimmer won her third title at the New Zealand Open swimming championships, claiming victory in the 400 metres women's freestyle final in commanding fashion.

She recorded a winning time of four minutes 06.08 seconds, under the qualifying mark for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She was over six seconds ahead of Wellington's Samantha Lucie-Smith, with Emma Robinson (Wellington) taking the bronze medal.

Boyle had already achieved the qualifying time required for selection for the event when she won her heat yesterday morning, which qualified her for four events in Glasgow later this year. The 26-year-old is poised to chase gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events and was also the fastest among the top four women that produced a qualifying time for a 4x200m freestyle relay team.

A disqualification for a false start in her 100m freestyle heat on Thursday likely prevented Boyle from gaining four golds at the champs.

The New Zealand team for Glasgow was due to be named late last night following the completion of the four-day championships in Henderson.

Boyle will head a select team of individuals - along with a number of relay teams - that met tough qualifying standards at the nationals, which doubled as trials for the Games.

Leading breaststroker Glenn Snyders went under the qualifying time in winning his 100m/200m double in events that will be contested in Glasgow, while he also added the 50m gold to his collection this week.

Matamata's Matthew Stanley (400m freestyle) and Auckland's Corey Main (100m backstroke) were also certainties for the Games team, along with the likelihood of at least two relay teams.

Canterbury's Sophie Pascoe and Waikato's Nikita Howarth both qualified for Para events in their respective categories for Glasgow at the nationals.

Greerton's Nathan Capp gave qualifying for the men's 1500m freestyle a real crack before finishing just outside his national record and 10 seconds away from making the Games with a gold medal-winning time of 15:25.25.

ian.anderson@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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