Sport | Swimming

‘That felt tough’: Erika Fairweather books third world champs spot, adding women’s 200 freestyle to list

New Zealand swim star Erika Fairweather (Ngāi Tahu) has “breezed” through qualification for the 2024 World Championships women’s 200m freestyle at the Swimming New Zealand trials in Auckland on Saturday.

The Dunedin 19-year-old locked in qualification during her heat on day two of the New Zealand trials for the world championships, going a second under the required mark with a time of 1:57.67s.

The 2023 World Championship bronze medallist then picked up the pace in the final, flying home over the last 50m to finish in 1:57.23s.

“That felt tough. It’s been a busy few months but you can’t be unhappy with going under the qualifying time,” Fairweather said.

As well as the 200m freestyle, Fairweather has already qualified in the women’s 400m and 800m freestyle for February’s World Championships in Doha. This follows her outstanding performances at July’s World Championships in Japan, which included a stunning 400m race in which she became just the fifth woman ever to go under four minutes.

“I’m back home to Dunedin now for a bit of r&r [rest and relaxation], and then back on the horse and start a big training block going into Doha.”