Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Daniel Bell makes it to CWG

New Zealand’s teenaged Olympian backstroke ace Daniel Bell rang a warning to his rivals after qualifying for the Commonwealth Games at the New Zealand Swimming championships in Auckland on Wednesday.

According to reports in the New Zealand media, Bell qualified in the 200m backstroke by clocking a personal best time of 1:58.96 to go under the qualifying mark for the Games by half a second. It raised the number of Games qualifiers from New Zealand after two days of the championships to four.

Bell led from the start but was pushed all the way by former national record holder Gareth Kean, with the pair going through the midway mark in 57 seconds when Bell was 4/10ths of a second off Kurt Bassett's New Zealand record.

“I am really happy with that. The 200 is not my main race so to get a qualifying time in that relieves a lot of pressure for the 100. I am now looking forward and upwards,” Bell said. “I will go back and look at the splits but obviously it's the fastest time that I've done before and it's been two years since I have done this event seriously. I've only been training for this for five months so I am really pleased.

“It's a real confidence boost leading up to the Commonwealth Games. All of the top backstrokers in the world are now swimming the 200m. It helps with some back end endurance for the 100m. Hopefully now I can produce a top time in the 100m and give some of the top backstrokers in the world a bit of a fright.”

Emily Thomas and Glenn Snyders missed qualification by only fractions from the target times in the women’s 100m backstroke and men’s 200m breaststroke respectively. Thomas won the 100m backstroke in 1:01.51, one-fifth of a second off the qualifying time for Delhi. Snyders won the 200m breaststroke in 2:13.55sec, 13/100ths of a second off the qualifying mark.

Snyders looked set to better the qualifying standard at the 150m mark but faded a fraction coming home. “I was where I wanted to be but should have been able to bring it home. And I should have glided at the end instead of taking that extra stroke which cost me,” he said.


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