The Kiwis Are Stepping It Up Down Under

The Kiwis Are Stepping It Up Down Under

Cara Baker won the New Zealand 5K national open water championships at the Epic Swim in New Zealand’s Lake Taupo, adding to her 10K title the day before – and the 5K and 10K titles she won last year.

The performance exceeded my expectations really. I think I am a better swimmer this year and definitely in better shape than at the same time last year. I now have a month until the Australian Championships which are the next big target and then hopefully on to the world championships where I will have a chance to qualify for London.”

On the men’s side of the equation, the 5K championship could barely be any closer with four men separated by 0.4 seconds. Kane Radford, Philip Ryan, Bryn Murphy and Murray Pretorius stayed tight with Casey Glover, Joshua Richardson and Stefan Talbot swimming just behind. Kane put on the early sprint, but was touched out by Bryn who won in 1:00:14.29 seconds. Philip, yesterday’s 10K winner was third only 0.3 second behind Bryn.

It was an outstanding race and they really took it to each other,” said Philip Rush, Swimming New Zealand national open water coach. “That was very impressive and aggressive swimming from the guys. It is the type of swimming they will need to produce over the 10K at the Australian Championships. If they do, then I would not be surprised if we can get two men to the world championships.”

Things are most definitely looking up in New Zealand, both at the international level and at the grass-roots level. Philip summed the weekend up, “We are also starting to see some depth, particularly in the men, which is exciting for the future. And, Cara is really developing into a world class open water swimmer.”

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