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Twelve Kiwi swimmers London bound

Published: 8:29AM Saturday March 31, 2012 Source: Fairfax

  • New Zealand's men's 4 x 100 medley relay team of (left to right) Gareth Kean, Glenn Snyders, Carl O'Donnell and Daniel Bell (Source: Photosport)
    New Zealand's men's 4 x 100 medley relay team of (left to right) Gareth Kean, Glenn Snyders, Carl O'Donnell and Daniel Bell - Source: Photosport

New Zealand will send one of its biggest ever swim teams to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A provisional team of 12 has been named including seven individuals and the women's 4x200m freestyle relay team.

Further additions may also yet drop in with the men's 4x200m freestyle relay, women's 4 x 100m freestyle relay and the men's 4x100m medley relay awaiting final confirmation from world governing body Fina.

The open water swimmers are also yet to compete in their final selection race.

The fate of all hopefuls will be known in July.

The 12-strong squad compares with the previous biggest teams of 15 for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 13 in Athens 2004 and 14 in Atlanta in 1996.

The team includes eight performances currently ranked in the top 10 in the world this year.

Five of the seven named have qualified in multiple events. The line-up comprises 2008 Olympians Melissa Ingram, Glenn Snyders, Daniel Bell, Natasha Hind, Hayley Palmer and freestyler Lauren Boyle - who has booked her place in three individual Olympic events.

"It feels good to have everything completed and confirmed," Boyle told Fairfax Media.

"Even though I made qualifying times at the world championships, you never know for sure you're going until the official announcement is made.

"I'm excited for what's ahead. I'm really happy with where I'm at and been doing a lot of hard training since September last year.

"Because of that I didn't know how fast I would be here at the national championships, but I'm pleased to be back to my fastest times."

Stepping up from the Delhi Commonwealth Games team include Delhi silver medallist Gareth Kean, Amaka Gessler and Penelope Marshall.

The newcomers are talented Wellington teenager Samantha Lucie-Smith and exciting 20 year old Matthew Stanley, who broke the long standing national records of Danyon Loader in the 200m and 400m freestyle to qualify.

New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary general and selector Kereyn Smith said watching the athletes achieve Olympic selection at the national championships this week was satisfying.

"I'd like to congratulate the group of athletes who have exceeded expectations this week," Smith said.

"We look forward to this large team of swimmers making us proud in London."

New Zealand has a total of seven Olympic swimming medals - three gold, one silver and three bronze.