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The start of something extraordinary

Bates secures gold

An outstanding night of swimming by the New Zealand team at the Australian Age Group Championships has seen the first gold and additional three silver and one bronze medals achieved.

Hannah Bates from the Selwyn club (Christchurch) was the star of the night. After breaking the 5-minute barrier for the first time in the 400m individual medley during the morning heat swim she went on to better that mark and swim 4:53.21 in the 16 year old girls final. That time means that Bates took more than 8 seconds off her personal best time.

Tristan Eislen of Otumoetai and Michael Pickett of Enterprise added to their medals from days one both winning silver. Eislen took almost 5 seconds off his personal best time for the 200m butterfly finishing the 14 year old boys race in a swift 2:09.61. Pickett also claimed silver in the 14 year old boys 100m freestyle. After breaking his New Zealand record set at the recent New Zealand Age Group Championships in the heat session he went faster again in the evening clocking a time of 52.42 which is almost 1 second inside his previous record.

The remaining medals of the evening were won by Gina Galloway of United and Zachary Dell of Pukekohe. Dell won silver in the 16 year old boys 100m backstroke finishing in 57.74. Galloway claimed bronze after completing the 16 year old girls 100m backstroke in a time of 1:03.08.

The Australian Age Championships has attracted nearly 1900 of Australia’s best up and coming young swimmers and continues at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre until Friday.

New Zealand results from day three:

Boys 14 years: Tristan Eiselen (Otumoetai) 200m butterfly 2:09.61, 2; Michael Pickett (Enterprise) 100m freestyle 52.42, 2;

Girls 16 years: Gina Galloway (United) 100m backstroke 1:03.08, 3; Hannah Bates (Selwyn) 400m individual medley 4:53.21, 1; Ellie Eastwood (United) 400m individual medley 5:03.96, 8;

Boys 16 years: Zachary Dell (Pukekohe) 100m backstroke 57.74, 2: Thomas Watkins (Capital) 100m backstroke 1:00.08, 10;

Girls 15 years: Chelsey Edwards (SwimZone) 50m freestyle 26.56, 5:

Boys 15 years: Tyron Henry (Howick Pakuranga) 50m freestyle 24.15, 4;