Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Paris 2024: Nine Athletes Named In Strong Olympic Swimming Team

A strong team of nine swimming athletes has been named represent New Zealand at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The team is led by current World Champions Lewis Clareburt (Waikato-Tainui) and Erika Fairweather (Ngāi Tahu). Clareburt won the 400m Individual Medley at this year’s Swimming World Championships in Doha, while Fairweather picked up her title in the 400m Freestyle, as well as winning silver in the 200m Free and bronze in the 800m Free.

“I’m so keen to get to Paris,” said Fairweather.

“It’s always special getting to compete at this level, so much hard work goes on behind the scenes to prepare for the Olympics and I can’t wait to showcase it.”

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be an Olympian, let alone going to my second Games,” added Clareburt.

“It’s a huge privilege, I can’t wait to represent New Zealand and put the pūkana on the world stage!”

They’re joined by fellow Tokyo Olympian Eve Thomas, who will also have a busy programme, contesting four events.

The other six athletes will make their Olympic debuts in Paris after swimming qualification times at the New Zealand Swimming Championships earlier this month.

Hazel Ouwehand (Pron Ou-wi-hand) was one of the standout performers at the meet, storming home in the Women's 100m Butterfly in a New Zealand record time of 57.43s, almost half a second under the Paris Olympic Games qualifying time.

“Going to the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was super young so it’s pretty special to see it realised,” said Ouwehand.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“I’m really excited for the Games, it’s going to be an amazing field of athletes and I can’t wait to put all my hard work and training into action.”

For 200m Backstroke athlete Kane Follows the selection is particularly sweet. The 27-year-old has been on the cusp of making the national team for years, with the Paris Olympics to be his international representative debut.

“This has been a grind, I’ve missed a lot of teams but I’ve stuck at it, I’ve given so much to the sport and it feels so good to get this result,” said Follows.

“Sport is a lot of ups and downs but it’s all worth it for this feeling.”

Sprinters Taiko Torepe-Ormsby (Ngāi Tahu) and Cameron Gray are the other men in the Olympic squad. Torepe-Ormsby produced the fastest 50m Freestyle swim ever by a New Zealander (21.86s) as he qualified for Paris, while Cameron Gray beat his own New Zealand record in the 100m Freestyle.

Caitlin Deans and Laticia Leigh Transom round out the team, contesting the women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay alongside Fairweather and Thomas.

Swimming New Zealand Olympic Programme Lead Gary Francis says they’re excited about the potential of the squad.

“To have nine quality athletes heading to the Games is fantastic,” said Francis.

“We’ve got a great mix of experienced campaigners and exciting young talent in this team. We were thrilled with the times these athletes swum at the New Zealand Swimming Championships earlier this month and we’re expecting some special performances in Paris in a few months-time.”

NZOC CEO Nicki Nicol extended her congratulations to the athletes.

“We’re really pleased to have an exciting swim team heading to the Games with two World Champions to lead the charge,” said Nicol.

“We wish the athletes all the best with the rest of their training and we look forward to seeing them pull on the fern and represent New Zealand in Paris.”

The Paris 2024 swimming competition will be contested from July 27th to August 4th at the Paris La Defense Arena, the largest indoor events venue in Europe.

The full team is:

  • Erika Fairweather – Women’s 400m Freestyle, 200m Free, 800m Free, Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay
  • Eve Thomas - Women’s 400m Freestyle, 800m Free, 1500m Free, Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay
  • Lewis Clareburt – Men’s 400m Individual Medley, 200m IM, 200m Butterfly
  • Hazel Ouwehand – Women’s 100m Butterfly
  • Cameron Gray – Men’s 100m Freestyle
  • Kane Follows – Men’s 200m Backstroke
  • Taiko Torepe-Ormsby – Men’s 50m Freestyle
  • Caitlin Deans – Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay
  • Laticia Leigh Transom - Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay

All selections are conditional on confirmation of an Olympic quota place which should be received early July.

Athlete Bios:

Lewis Clareburt

Lewis Clareburt is a swimming World Champion, Olympic finalist and four-time Commonwealth Games medallist.

Clareburt has been a member of New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth teams since he first competed at the Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017, where he signalled his potential as he won a staggering seven medals.

The following year Clareburt shocked the field to win a bronze medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

His first Olympic Games was Tokyo 2020 where he made the finals of both the 400m IM and 200m IM, placing seventh and eighth respectively.

In 2022, Clareburt set the pool alight to lead a fantastic New Zealand swim team campaign at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Wellingtonian won two gold medals (400m IM, 200m fly) and one bronze medal (200m IM) as he set the tone for the swim team which won nine medals.

In 2024, he won the World Title in the men’s 400m IM. The result following his bronze medal win in the same event in 2019.

Clareburt was raised in Wellington where he was coached by Gary Hollywood. He moved to Auckland in 2024 and is now coached by Mitch Nairn.

Erika Fairweather

Dunedin’s Erika Fairweather is New Zealand’s first ever Swimming World Champion, having won gold in the women’s 400m Freestyle at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships.

The meet was extremely successful for Fairweather who also won silver in the 200m Freestyle, and bronze in the 800m Freestyle. In 2023, she won World Championship bronze in the 400m event, sharing the podium with swimming superstars Katie Ledecky and Ariane Titmus.

Fairweather has competed for the New Zealand Team at both the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

In Tokyo, Fairweather set a New Zealand record to qualify for the final of her favoured event, the 400m freestyle. She was aged just 17 and was still attending High School at the time.

Fairweather is based in her hometown of Dunedin and is coached by Lars Humer.
Eve Thomas

Eve Thomas is a New Zealand Olympian and Commonwealth Games swimmer.

Thomas trains in Australia under St Peters Western Swimming Club and is coached by highly regarded Dean Boxall. At Tokyo 2020 she competed in the 800m and 1500m Freestyle, as well as the 4x200m Freestyle Relay.
Thomas raced the same events at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, where she made two finals.

The freestyle specialist placed fourth in the 800m event at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships.

Her mother, Sarah Thomas, swam for the UK at the Olympic Games.

Laticia Leigh Transom

Laticia Leigh Transom has competed for New Zealand at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas.

In the Bahamas Transom won two golds (4x200m Freestyle Mixed Relay, Girls 200m Freestyle), two silvers (Girls 100m Freestyle, 4x100m Medley Mixed Relay) and a bronze medal (Girls 50m Freestyle). On the Gold Coast she had four top 15 placings.

Transom is based in Australia and studies in the US.

Hazel Ouwehand

Butterfly specialist Hazel Ouwehand will compete in the 100m Butterfly at the Paris Olympic Games.

The Phoenix Aquatics swimmer set a New Zealand record at the 2024 NZ Swimming Championships, stopping the clock in 57.43sec, almost half a second under the Paris Olympics qualifying time of 57.92sec, and comfortably inside the previous national record (57.76sec).

Ouwehand has also competed for New Zealand at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, contesting the 50m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 100m butterfly and 100m backstroke.

Ouwehand is based in Auckland.

Taiko Torepe-Ormsby

New Zealand’s fastest ever swimmer over 50m, Taiko Torepe-Ormsby set a New Zealand record as he qualified for the Paris Olympic Games in the 50m Freestyle, becoming the first ever Kiwi to swim the distance in less than 22-seconds.

The Christchurch athlete has been swimming since age seven, following his older sisters into the sport. He is now based in the US where he swims for the University of Wisconsin.

Torepe-Ormsby has eight swimming sessions a week, along with three in the gym and two dry-land sessions, while also having to manage classwork and homework outside of those hours as he studies Consumer Behaviour and Marketplace Studies in a Bachelor of Science degree.

Cameron Gray

Cameron Gray will compete in the 100m Freestyle at the Paris Olympic Games.

Bursting onto the scene as a senior swimmer at the 2022 New Zealand Championships, sprint star Gray made his Commonwealth Games debut at Birmingham 2022, winning bronze in the 50m fly.

Coached by Olympian Andy McMillan, the young swimmer has an impressive list of national titles and national age group records to his name.

The North Shore athlete also competed for New Zealand at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships.

Caitlin Deans

Dunedin’s Caitlin Deans will compete in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay at the Paris Olympic Games.

Deans is a freestyle specialist and made her New Zealand swimming team debut at the 2019 World Championships in Budapest. She has been in multiple New Zealand teams since.

Deans studied at the University of Otago where she gained a physiology degree.

Kane Follows

Kane Follows had never made a New Zealand Team until swimming the Olympic qualification time at the 2024 New Zealand Swimming Championships.

Follows will compete in the 200m Backstroke at the Paris Olympic Games. He was born in Auckland to a strong swimming family with both parents having won national titles. He is now based in Dunedin training under Lars Humer.

Follows lived in Hawaii for four years, swimming with the University of Hawaii team.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.