A for Athlete


  • New Zealand (also known as NZL) Flag of New Zealand swimmer with gold medal at World Youth Championships in 2008


Bell wins World Youth swim title[]

10th July 2008

West Auckland teenager Daniel Bell has become a world champion, winning the final of the 100m backstroke at the FINA World Youth Championships in Mexico today.

Bell, who will lead-off the medley relay at the Beijing Olympics, took out the final of the 100m backstroke in impressive fashion in 55.32s. This was slightly slower than his New Zealand (also known as NZL) Flag of New Zealand Open record breaking effort in winning his semifinal yesterday when he became the first kiwi swimmer to go under the 55 second barrier.

The 18 year old from the West Auckland Aquatics Club did not rest on his laurels, turning around three events after his final to win the semifinal of the 100m butterfly in a championship record 52.76.

He is the second New Zealand swimmer to win a World Youth title, following the effort of Southland’s Natalie Wiegersma in the inaugural event two years ago.

Swimming New Zealand chief executive Mike Byrne said the result was a tremendous effort for Bell and his coach Donna Bouzaid and a real boost for the sport.

“Daniel is an outstanding talent that has come through our coaching and development programmes,” Mr Byrne said. “It shows that we can produce world class talent in this country.”

The Beijing Olympic head coach Jan Cameron said Bell deserved real credit for his effort and that his improving times augers well for the Beijing Olympics.

“Fully tapered he is perhaps on track to get close to the mid-54 second range for Beijing and that coupled with the other more senior swimmers means they are on track for a top performance in the medley relay.”

Beijing bound junior swimmers in record breaking form[]

9th July 2008

Young Olympic swimmers Daniel Bell and Orinoco Faamausili-Banse produced record performances on the first day of the FINA World Youth Championships in Mexico.

Bell (West Auckland Aquatics) broke the New Zealand Open record for the 100m backstroke while Faamausili-Banse (Laser Mt Eden) set a national age group mark in the 100m freestyle on the opening day of the championships.

Both showed they are in good form for Beijing where they will compete in the medley and freestyle relays respectively.

Bell, 18, won his semifinal to qualify for tomorrow’s final of the 100m backstroke. He clocked 55.62 to top his heat, but went even better to record 54.99s in the semifinal, which broke his own national open record of 55.26 set at the Olympic Trials.

US-based team-mate Kurt Bassett (Laser Mt Eden), a 200m backstroke specialist, was third in the same semifinal to give New Zealand (also known as NZL) Flag of New Zealand a grand chance of finishing on the podium in tomorrow’s final.

Faamausili-Banse, 17, broke his own national age group record in the 100m freestyle, clocking 50.29s as the lead-out swimmer in the freestyle relay that finished seventh fastest but had to withdraw from the final after illness to one of the team members.

In other swims, Rotorua’s Kane Radford produced a personal best 3:50.26 to finish 10th in the heads of the 400m freestyle and John Gatfield (Swim City) recorded his best in heats of the 100m breaststroke.

The championships finish on Monday (NZ time)

New Zealand (also known as NZL) Flag of New Zealand results, day 1:


  • 400m freestyle: Kane Radford (Rotorua) 3:50.26, 10; Shane Patience (Waves, Dunedin) 4:02.99, 23.
  • 100m backstroke: Daniel Bell (West Auckland Aquatics) 55.62, 1 (NZ Age Record); Kurt Bassett (Laser Mt Eden) 56.34, 2.
  • 400m individual medley: Ellen Quirke (Capital) 4:58.88, 16.
  • 100m breaststroke: John Gatfield (SwimZone, Wgtn) 1:08.40, 35.
  • 400m freestyle relay: New Zealand (O Faamausili-Banse, Bell, Gatfield, Bassett) 3:26.70, 7.


  • 100m backstroke: Bell 54.99, 1 (NZ Open Record); Ben Treffers (AUS) 55.93, 2; Bassett 56.21, 3.

=== Bell rings third World Youth swimming title

Waitakere swimmer Daniel Bell continued his remarkable run with a third gold medal at the FINA World Youth Championships in Mexico.

Bell took out the final of the 50m butterfly in a New Zealand (also known as NZL) Flag of New Zealand open record at Monterrey today, after winning the 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly earlier in the championships.

This is the fourth gold medal won by New Zealand after teammate Orinoco Faamausili-Banse won the 50m freestyle yesterday. He fell ill today and withdrew from the 100m freestyle.

It proved another barn-storming day for Bell who attempted to attack two major events today. He was second fastest in the heats of the 100m freestyle in a personal best 50.62 in the morning.

“We gave him the chance to withdraw at night to concentrate on the 50m butterfly finals but he was having nothing of it,” coach Donna Bouzaid said.

“He felt he could win them both which is typical of his fantastic attitude.”

The West Auckland Aquatics club swimmer was fractionally slower in the evening semifinal in 50.99s which meant he missed out on a place in tomorrow’s final by 2/10ths of a second.

Twenty minutes later he was back in the pool to bag his third gold medal in the 50m butterfly, with his winning time of 23.61 establishing a new Championship Record. It also set a new National Open Record previously held by Beijing Olympian Corney Swanepoel.

Wellington’s John Gatfield also performed strongly today with personal best performances in the 50m breaststroke and the 400m individual medley.

The championships continue until tomorrow.

New Zealand results from the fifth day of the FINA World Youth Swimming Championships in Mexico:


50m butterfly: Daniel Bell (NZL) 23.61, 1 (Championship record, NZ Open record); Ivan Lendjer Serbia (also known as SRB) Flag of Serbia 23.97, 2; Pavel Sankovich Belarus (also known as BLR) Flag of Belarus 24.49, 3.


100m freestyle: Bell 50.99, 10th.


100m freestyle: Bell 50.62, 2.

50m breaststroke: John Gatfield 31.37, 34.

400m individual medley: Gatfield 4:38.37, 14; Kane Radford 4:46.17, 22.

Kean leads emerging swim talent against Australia[]

12th July 2008

New Zealand’s emerging swim talent saved their best until last in the final test in the Trans Tasman age group series in Canberra today.

The kiwi development squad managed four wins and 17 podium places in the final test at the Australia Institute of Sport.

While they finished well behind the two Australian teams, they enjoyed their best effort in the two sessions of the final test.

Wellington’s Gareth Kean again led the way with a strong performance, winning the 200m backstroke with his time of 1:56.78 establishing a meet record, going under the previous mark of Daniel Bell, who has starred in the World Youth Championships this week. This effort also set a new national age group record.

The Capital club swimmer, coached by 1978 Commonwealth Games gold medal winning backstroker Gary Hurring, also took out the final of the 100m backstroke in 54.46, and helped the New Zealand team to an outstanding victory in the 4x100m medley relay.

Kean was awarded as the male swimmer of the series after today’s effort in the 200 m backstroke.

The other win went to Australian-based former Manawatu swimmer Laura Baker, who took out a superb 800m freestyle battle. She edged out Australian Mikkayala Masselli-Sheridan to win in 8:46.24 with the Australian just 16/100ths of a second behind.

Australia Green edged their Gold opponents by just one point with New Zealand third.

“We were not as competitive this time but we definitely finished on a much stronger note,” head coach Simon Mayne said.

“We brought a very young group with us, with only two back from last year and most of them still eligible for a further two years.

Gareth Kean, in particular, was quite outstanding and is a terrific prospect. Starn Simpson, Laura Baker and Samantha Lee were also impressive.

“This is an invaluable opportunity for us. Australia is an undisputed powerhouse in world swimming, and therefore this chance to take on their best age group swimmers in absolutely vital part of our development programme.”

Results, third test, Canberra:


100m Freestyle: H McEvoy 50.21, 1; J Magnussen 50.35, 2; N Varoy (NZL) 51.72, 3.

200m Backstroke: Gareth Kean (NZL) 1:56.78, 1 (Meet Record); A Kelshaw 1:57.33, 2 D Potts 2:03.41, 3.

200m Breaststroke: K To 2:15.55, 1; Starn Simpson (NZL) 2:19.63, 2; M Larkin 2:23.92, 3.

100m Butterfly: J Hadler 54.67, 1; Thomas McEwan (NZL) 56.89, 2; J Stack 57.01, 3.

400m IM: A Fraser-Holmes 4:19.45, 1; Mitchell Donaldson (NZL) 4:29.48, 2; A Clarke 4:30.11, 3.

400m Medley Relay: NZL (G Kean, S Simpson, J Nash, N Varoy) 3:44.19, 1; AUS Green 3:44.51, 2; AUS Gold 3:50.50, 3.

100m Backstroke: Kean (NZL) 54.46, 1; A Kelshaw 55.40, 2; M Ackermann 56.14, 3.

100m Breaststroke: To 1:02.81, 1; Starn Simpson (NZL) 1:03.00, 2; L Kinneally 1:06.22, 3.

400m Freestyle Relay: AUS Gold 3:22.81, 1; AUS Green 3:23.81, 2; NZL (Varoy, T McEwan, B Stark, Simpson) 3:27.86, 3.


200m Freestyle: K Pilgrim 2:01.42, 1; B Bennett 2:01.59, 2; S Lee (NZL) 2:04.22, 3.

100m Backstroke: C Sinclair 1:00.94, 1; W Ireland 1:02.06, 2; A Clark (NZL) 1:02.19, 3.

800m Freestyle: Laura Baker (NZL) 8:46.24, 1; A Maselli-Sherida 8:46.40, 2; J Ashwood 8:52.11, 3. 100m Breaststroke: J Legge 1:08.20, 1; T Wallace 1:08.84, 2; Ashley Rupapera (NZL) 1:12.45, 3.

200m Butterfly: M Mackay 2:12.10, 1; E Smith 2:16.33, 2; Emma Lowther (NZL) 2:17.87, 3.

400m Freestyle: B Bennett 4:16.11, 1; J Ashwood 4:16.51, 2; Laura Baker (NZL) 4:20.34, 3.

200m Breaststroke: Legge 2:29.54, 1; T Wallace 2:34.27, 2; Katie Kenneally (NZL) 2:37.79, 3.

Mixed 500m Freestyle Relay: AUS Gold 4:04.43, 1; AUS Green 4:05.59, 2; NZL 4:15.75, 3

Faamausili-Banse claims NZ’s third World Youth swim title[]

12th July 2008

Auckland swimmer Orinoco Faamausili-Banse, hospitalised earlier in the week, recovered to win New Zealand’s third title at the FINA World Youth Championships in Mexico today.

Faamausili-Banse, 17, took out the final of the 50m freestyle at Monterrey, breaking the New Zealand Open record in the process and setting a Championship Record.

The Laser Mt Eden club swimmer won in 22.37s which broke the previous national open record of 22.51 that he held jointly with fellow Beijing Olympian Mark Herring.

His victory follows the double gold medals won by Daniel Bell in the 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly.

The win was more remarkable after the big Auckland sprinter was hospitalised earlier in the week after feeling dizzy and shaking following the heats of the relay.

Faamausili-Banse was fastest in his heat in 22.76 and reduced this to 22.71 in finishing third fastest in the semifinal. He was in charge in the final, making an strong start and winning the final from Italy’s Luca Dotto by 3/10ths of a second.

“It’s pretty awesome. I just wanted to swim fast today,” Faamausili-Banse said. “I had swum well in the semifinals but not as fast as I wanted. My coach Glenn Hamblyn helped me to relax more and things went well.

I was really pleased with my start and it felt really good.”

Faamausili-Banse said the team was on a high following Bell’s two gold medals which had been his inspiration in the final today.

He felt well after the health scare earlier in the week.

“I could not stop shaking and I had pins and needles in my hands. And I felt a bit dizzy, so they decided to put me into hospital. I’ve was put on antibiotics because they thought it was an infection and I have come right quickly.”

Faamausili-Banse said his main aim was now the 100m freestyle tomorrow, the event he will swim in the relay at Beijing next month.

“I really want to go fast and get another personal best so I can show the rest of the relay team that it’s all on for Beijing.”

Bell put himself in contention for a third medal when he won his semifinal of the 50m butterfly today. He clocked a personal best 23.77 which was a new Championship Record and a new national age group record.

Earlier Bell was second fastest in the heats of the 50m butterfly with Faamausili-Banse ninth fastest, before he scratched from the evening semifinal to concentrate on the 50m freestyle.

Earlier Wellington’s Ellen Quirke finished 13th fastest in the heats of the 200m individual medley while the men’s team of Kurt Bassett, Kane Radford, Shane Patience and Bell were ninth fastest in the 4x200m freestyle relay to just miss out on a place in the final.

New Zealand results from the fourth day of the FINA World Youth Swimming Championships in Mexico:


50m freestyle: Orinoco Faamausili-Banse (NZL) 22.37, 1 (Championship and NZ Open record); Luca Dotto (ITA) 22.63, 2; Luca Leonardi (ITA) 22.70, 3.


50m butterfly: Daniel Bell (NZL) 23.77, 1 (Championship and NZ Age record); Ivan Lendjer (SRB) 23.98, 2; James Doolan (GBR) 24.35, 3.


50m butterfly: Bell (NZL) 24.17, 2; Faamausili-Banse (NZL) 25.02, 9.

200m individual medley: Ellen Quirke (NZL) 2:20.19, 13.

4x200m freestyle relay: NZL (K Bassett, K Radford, S Patience, D Bell) 7:35.51, 9.

His Brother "Mathew Bell" was my year 6 teacher