Clareburt continues sizzling form at Games
Only a few hours after his shock bronze medal in the men’s 400m individual medley, New Zealand swimmer Lewis Clareburt was at it again today.
In the medley he beat his personal best by more than four seconds. Today in the men’s 200m butterfly he topped his personal best by two seconds and qualified sixth for the final.
Clareburt, only 18, is growing into a world-class swimmer at this meet. He not only cracked the 2-minute barrier today, but suddenly found himself mixing with some of the heavyweights of the event.
Another New Zealander, Bradlee Ashby swam 2min 00.30s and was 11th in the 200m butterfly.
Clareburt said he was thriving on being an underdog at the Games. “No-one knows who I am, so I quite like the underdog status,” he said. If he keeps improving at his current rate, he won’t be an unknown much longer.
Para swimmers Jesse Reynolds and Celyn Edwards were also in good form today in the men’s SB8 100m breaststroke.
Reynolds qualified fourth for the final in 1min 21.82s, a personal best by a whopping five seconds, and Edwards qualified fifth in 1min 25.06s, a personal best by two seconds.
“I was stoked with that swim,” Reynolds said. “I’ll be giving it everything in the final.”
Sophie Pascoe, the biggest name in the New Zealand swim squad, stamped her mark by leading the qualifiers for the women’s SM10 200m individual medley.
Though well outside her world record time, Pascoe still recorded 2min 27.26s to qualify for the final 5½ seconds ahead of second-placed Aurelie Rivard of Canada.
All three New Zealand men qualified for the semi-finals in the 100m freestyle.
Daniel Hunter was the quickest and his 49.65s placed him 10th equal. Matthew Stanley recorded 49.79s for 14th and Sam Perry cut it even finer, with 49.90s to grab the 16th and final semi-final spot.
Helena Gasson comfortably negotiated her way into the women’s 50m butterfly semi-finals. Her time of 27.10s placed her 9th equal.