Fractions proved the difference for two New Zealand swimmers chasing semifinals on the penultimate day of the FINA World Swimming Championships in Budapest.
Backstroke junior world champion Gabrielle Fa’amausili, 17, in her first elite world championships, clocked 25.38s to be 24th fastest from 87 starters in heats of the 50m freestyle. The talented United club swimmer from Auckland has swum 0.3s fastest which would have been enough to climb inside the top 16 for the semifinals.
Likewise Howick Pakuranga freestyle speciallist Daniel Hunter was timed at 26.02s in heats of the men’s 50m backstroke, which was 37th fastest from 55 starters.
The sprinters will give way to the endurance swimmers on the final day in the championships tomorrow with Bradlee Ashby, a semifinalist earlier in the week, and Helena Gasson tackling the gruelling 400m individual medley.
The New Zealand women’s team of Bobbi Gichard, Gasson, Natasha Lloyd and Fa’amausili will combine in heats of the 4x100m medley relay.
Results, Day 7 Heats:
Women 50m freestyle: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 24.08, 1; Pernille Blume (DEN) 24.32, 2; Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) 24.53, 3. Also: Gabrielle Fa’amausili (NZL) 25.38, 24.
Men 50m backstroke: Junja Koga (JPN) 24.54, 1; Camille Lacourt (FRA) 24.58, 2; Jiayu Xu (CHN) 24.78, 3. Also: Daniel Hunter (NZL) 26.02, 37.