With the first day of competition at the 2016 New Zealand Open wrapping up yesterday, four swimmers have met the minimum qualifying times for the Rio Paralympics.
Hamish McLean started off the run of setting qualifying times in the men’s S6 category in the 400m freestyle with a time of 5:28.16 Mary Fisher and Rebecca Dubber set qualifying times in the women’s 400m freestyle event, with S11 swimmer Fisher finishing in a time of 5:23.76 while S7 Dubber swam a time of 5:39.04. Nikita Howarth set the last qualifying time, with a time of time of 1:29.37 in the women’s S8 100m breaststroke.
Swimming has traditionally been one of New Zealand’s stronger sports at the Paralympic Games. The country sent a seven strong swimming delegation, which included Howarth, Dubber, Fisher, Cameron Leslie, Daniel Sharp, Aine Kelly-Costello and Sophie Pascoe. They claimed 5 of the 6 gold medals won by New Zealand, 6 of the 7 silvers and 1 of 4 bronze medals.