Commonwealth Games: Kiwi teen Lewis Clareburt ecstatic with bronze medal performance in 400m individual medley final

  • 07/04/2018

Lewis Clareburt can thank some last-minute words of wisdom from coach Gary Hollywood for nabbing New Zealand's first 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming medal.

"I Skyped my coach before the race and he told me just to think about myself and not think about anyone else - just race my own race," the newly-minted men's 400m individual medley bronze-medallist told reporters.  

"I knew I was going to go fast." 

And go fast he did.         

The 18-year-old Clareburt, a Wellington native, charged out of the blocks in Friday's medley final to sit one-two with compatriot Bradlee Ashby early.              

Yet, while the latter fell away over the breaststroke leg, Clareburt powered on, ultimately finishing behind Australian Clyde Lewis and Scot Mark Szaranek. 

Clareburt beat his personal best by four seconds with a time of four minutes 14.42 seconds, despite qualifying sixth-fastest for the final.      

He was ecstatic with his time, saying he'd pushed himself to the limit.   

"It's so cool to do, and to do it here is even better," Clareburt said.         

"It's awesome to be honest, to get a medal, and to be the first one from New Zealand is an honour."

Elsewhere, Kiwis enjoyed less in-water success.              

Daniel Hunter and Sam Perry could only finish fifth and sixth respectively in the men's 50m butterfly final on Friday afternoon, well off the medal pace.       

Corey Main, New Zealand's strongest able-bodied medal hopeful for the men's 100m backstroke, endured a disappointing final and came in seventh.          

The men's 4x100m freestyle relay quartet came fourth behind runaway winners Australia, England and Scotland.            

Teen Laticia Transom failed to make the women's 50m freestyle final, while Tupou Neiufi, Chris Arbuthnott and Jesse Reynolds missed out on podium spots in their respective para events.