Swimming: Kiwi hopefuls descend on Auckland for national championships as road to Paris 2024 continues

New Zealand's top swimmers have arrived at Auckland for the national championships, which start on Saturday.

The meet is a chance to impress selectors before the world championships, with the 2024 Paris Olympics fast approaching.

Four-time Commonwealth Games champion Lewis Clareburt is one primed and prepped with a new kit just for nationals.

"We decided to change out the uniform a little bit," he said. "Turns out no-one else could get Dickies shirts, so I'm the only one that got a shirt in the end."

The four-time Commonwealth Games medallist is onto it and he has to be, with a hectic few days coming up in the pool.

"I'm doing pretty much everything on the schedule, so I've got eight individual events and three relays to do," he continued. 

Meanwhile, our most decorated Paralympian - Dame Sophie Pascoe - is taking a different approach, enjoying a new work-life balance, with a wedding to prepare for.

"I'm only focussing on two races - the 50m freestyle and the 50m butterfly - but we also have a mixed relay partaking, which we are focussing on for world champs this year," she said.

Teenage rising star Erika Fairweather, 19, is eyeing her second Olympics and preparation has started strongly, after she recently posted the eighth-fastest women's 400m freestyle time in history. 

Dame Sophie Pascoe.
Dame Sophie Pascoe. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I am moving towards the big dogs league," she said. "That swim I did a couple of weeks ago has put me in a really great position going forward."

Their performances at Auckland will hopefully double as selection for July's world champs in Japan, the first of several stops on the way to next year's pinnacle event. 

"It's the time where we can see how everyone's doing," added Clareburt. "That road to Paris starts now."

Our Kiwi hopefuls are ready to make a splash.