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2019 Aon NZ Open Champs

Six Northland swimmers competed against the best in the country last week at the 2019 Aon NZ Open Champs in Auckland, with one selected to a world championship team.

Thanks to a set of personal best swims and three gold medals, Whangarei’s Cameron Leslie (29) is off to the World Para Champs in London in September.

Leslie, a triple Paralympic gold medallist, was selected for New Zealand’s World Para Champs team based on his times in 200m free, 50m back and 50m free multi-class events. He was one of 24 Para swimmers vying for a place in the team.

Swimmers from all over New Zealand and a range of countries – Australia, China, USA, Fiji, Samoa, Slovakia, the Philippines and Sweden – made up the 312 athletes competing at the Sir Owen Glenn National Aquatic Centre in Rosedale.

Northwave swimmer Ciara Smith (18) picked up four medals from her five swims – two gold in her favoured 50m and 200m breaststroke events, plus bronze in 100m breast and 400m IM, also breaking two New Zealand age group records in 50m and 200m breaststroke. Smith also placed 24th in 200m IM

Also competing at Opens were Northwave’s Nellie Clark (15), 13th in 100m breaststroke and 23rd in 50m breaststroke, Madeline Whittam (15) 23rd in 50m breaststroke, 21st in 100m breaststroke and 15th in 200m breaststroke, Tyler Jepsen (14) 15th in 200m backstroke; and Bream Bay’s Rebecca Reade (16) 32nd in 100m and 23rd in 200m backstroke.

Smith and Jepsen were yesterday both announced as members of Swimming New Zealand’s national age group bronze training squad. Selection was based on their performances at the NZ Age Group championships in March.