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Daniel Bell will chase a further Commonwealth Games qualifying time in the penultimate night of finals of the State Insurance New Zealand Championship in Waitakere City tonight.
The former Hawkes Bay swimmer, now at North Shore, topped the heats at the West Wave Aquatic Centre this morning in an impressive 55.17s in the 100m backstroke, just 3/10ths off the qualifying mark for the Commonwealth Games and 1.3s off his national record.
Bell has already qualified in the 200m backstroke earlier in the meet.
The championships at the West Wave Aquatics Centre double as the official Commonwealth Games Trials.
Fellow North Shore swimmer Melissa Ingram will also be looking for a qualifying time in the women’s 200m backstroke after cruising through the heats in 2:16.63. The Beijing Olympian was on target through the 100m and eased back to set herself for tonight’s final, second fastest in the heats behind brilliant 14-year-old Christchurch prospect Sophia Batchelor.
Southland’s Natalie Wiegersma, like Bell, will be looking for a second qualifying performance after she was fastest in heats of the 400m individual medley.
She clocked 4:52.84 after a strong first 200m and will be looking for a big performance tonight.
Auckland’s Orinocco Faamausili-Banse (Laser Mt Eden) was top in the heats of the men’s 50m freestyle in 23.17 ahead of Roskill’s William Benson and North Shore’s Matt Thomas.
The finals start at 6pm tonight with the championships continuing until tomorrow. There is a special Skins and Charity event on Saturday featuring the current champions along with many of the greats from the past including Anthony Mosse, Paul Kingsman and Anna Simcic.
Full details: www.swimmingnz.org.nz