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Waitakere: NZ swimmers seek Olympic qualification

NZ swimmers looking for Olympic qualification at West Wave Aquatic Centre

The cream of New Zealand swimming will be looking to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens at the New Zealand Open Swimming Championships, to be held at Waitakere City’s West Wave Aquatic Centre next month.

Up to 300 swimmers from around the country will be competing at the championships, which run from March 31 to April 4. Heats will be held in the morning from 9am and finals in the evening from 6pm.

Philippa Bouzaid, spokeswoman for the championship hosts, the Auckland Swimming Association, says swimmers to watch include Auckland’s Dean Kent, Cameron Gibson, Hannah McLean, Alison Fitch, Corney Swanepoel, Helen Norfolk, Melissa Ingram and Scott Talbot-Cameron, Dunedin’s Liz van Welie, Wellington’s Toni Jeffs and Bay of Plenty’s Moss Burmester.

Prominent local swimmers include West Auckland Aquatics’ Mark Herring, Matthew Palmer, Lauren Boyle, Kelly Newcombe and Tracey Sheehan and the Waterhole Swim Club’s Daniel Ryan and Carmen Ooi. There is also the possibility of having swimmers qualify in relay teams, but the teams will have to qualify within the top 16 in the world to be able to compete at Olympic level, Ms Bouzaid says.

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