Main brothers battle for NZ Open’s backstroke title

Bayley Main yesterday won the final of the men’s 50m backstroke at the 2018 Aon New Zealand Open Championships. Photo supplied.

Bayley Main scraped home against his older brother Corey by only 0.01s in the final of the men’s 50m backstroke, at the 2018 Aon New Zealand Open Championships.

It was the two brothers from Howick Pakuranga who got the best start on the rest of the field, with Corey swimming out in Lane 8 marginally ahead at the half way mark.

As the two hit the wall, the crowd cheered seeing the times of 25.92s for Bayley and 25.93s (pb) for Corey flash up on the scoreboard.

Jack Anderson (United) was third in 26.38s, also a personal best time.

In the women’s event Cassie Wright (QEII) flew out of the blocks to establish an early lead and held tough right through to the end to win in 28.41s (pb) from Slovakian international Karolina Hajkova (28.72s) and Kyla Alexander (United) 29.48s (pb). Emma Godwin was the third Kiwi home in 29.51s.

Following a convincing win in the 200m individual medley last night, Gina McCarthy (Hillcrest) showed what great form she is in at the moment by taking out the 400m individual medley, in a new personal best time of 4:53.23s.

McCarthy put her foot down and showed her breaststroke strength as she pulled ahead by two body lengths heading into the freestyle.

Neptune swim club’s Erika Fairweather picked up her third silver medal of the championships, finishing in 4:56.02s (pb), with Ruby Matthews third in 4:58.41s (pb).

In the Para events, the S14 rivalry between Tama Solouota (Howick Pakuranga) and David Beck (MAGS) has been a delight to watch this week.

In the men’s 200m freestyle Para mixed multi-class final, Solouota (2:15.63s) once again got the win over Beck (2:15.93s).

Solouota changed his breathing pattern as he sensed Beck trying his best to fight back in the final 50m. This was the 5th title of the meet for Solouota.

Other Para swimming open champions from tonight include; Bryall McPherson (North Shore), Ella Benn (Waitaha) and Celyn Edwards (Selwyn).

There was jubilation in the men’s 200m butterfly final by silver medallist Wilrich Coetzee and his North Shore club mates, as Coetzee touched in a new personal best time of 1:59.04s.

It marked the first time Coetzee had snuck under the two-minute mark for the event.

Lewis Clareburt (Capital) also recorded a personal best (1:57.57s) in winning gold, with Shaun Burnett (North Shore) winning bronze in 1.59.68s.

The women’s 200m butterfly event was won by Kiana Swain (Pukekohe) in 2:16.41s. Last years champion Charlotte Webby (Aquabladz) was second (2:17.86s) and Vanessa Ouwehand (St Peter’s) third (2:19.30s).

Ciara Smith (Northwave) and Julian Layton (Heretaunga) will be looking for a clean sweep of women’s and men’s breaststroke titles tomorrow night, as both added the 100m titles to the 200m ones they’d won on Tuesday night.

Athletes to achieve selection or qualification times for international events include: Ciara Smith (Northwave), 100m breaststroke (JPP + YOG), Kaylee Jackson (QEII) 100m breaststroke (YOG), Matthew Holder (United) 100m Breaststroke (JPP + YOG), Gina McCarthy (Hillcrest) 400m individual medley (JPP) and Lochlainn O’Connor (Greerton) 200m butterfly (JPP + YOG).