Tokyo Olympics: Kiwi Lewis Clareburt bolts to another NZ swimming record

  • Updated
  • 11/04/2021

Lewis Clareburt has continued his impressive form at the NZ Swimming Championships in Auckland, rounding out his campaign on Saturday with another national record-breaking effort.

The Wellingtonian set a new mark in the 200m individual medley with 1m 57.89s, shaving 1.35 seconds off the time set by Bradlee Ashby at the world championships in Budapest back in 2017, fast enough for Olympics qualification.

The record is the 21-year-old's third at the championships. Earlier in the week, he broke the men's 400-metre individual medley mark, as well as the 100m freestyle record during the 4 x 100m freestyle relay.

He also finished top of the podium in the men's 100m freestyle, coming less than a 0.10s short of the record he'd broken earlier in the meet.

Clareburt looms as New Zealand's best medal prospect at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, where he'll look to build on the form that saw him win a bronze medal in the 400m individual medley at the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea.

"It's been such a crazy year, I honestly had no idea where I was at," Clareburt told Newshub earlier.

"I've had the most time off in my whole life, and to get some good training in the end of last year and the beginning of this year has really paid off. It all just came together.

"It's surprising. You never think that having so much time off could pay off like that. It's pretty surreal, but I know, come Tokyo, I'll have to go faster if I want to get near a medal."

In other action, Sophie Pascoe clinched her sixth qualifying event for the Paralympics with a win in the 100m breaststroke.