2018 Pan Pacific Games Results

 The 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships have come and gone. How did the New Zealand team perform? Steve Johns has told us it is simple. Funding for swimming depends on winning medals. So let’s look at how much funding New Zealand earned on this occasion. The three tables below show how each of the three pool swimmers performed. The open water swimmers have yet to swim, so they are not included in this report.

Lewis Clareburt

Event Heat or Final Time Place PB or Not
400 IM Heat 4:17.93 7th Not
400 IM Final 4:14.27 5th PB
200 Fly Heat 1:57.36 10th PB
200 Fly Final 1:57.37 8th Not
200 IM Heat 2.00.92 10th Not
200 IM Final 1:59.31 8th PB
200 Back Heat 2:02.13 16th Not
200 Back B Final 2:01.10 7th PB

Daniel Hunter

Event Heat or Final Time Place PB or Not
100 Free Heat 49.86 22nd Not
100 Free B Final 49.89 16th Not
50 Free Heat 22.51 9th Not
50 Free Final 22.39 7th Not

Ali Galyer

Event Heat or Final Time Place PB or Not
100 Back Heat 1:01.61 11th PB
100 Back B Final 1:01.67 12th Not
200 Back Heat 2:10.11 10th Not
200 Back Final 2:10.26 8th Not

According to Steve Johns the link between money and medals is simple but winning medals perhaps, not so simple; not for Steve Johns anyway. This team has returned empty handed. As I have often said that is not the fault of the three swimmers. This barren performance has been a long time in the making. Swimming New Zealand was told over and over again that this would be the result of policies they were following, of money they were wasting. But they ignored our counsel and in 2018 the result is in plain view.

But before looking at the results Swimming New Zealand must be ashamed at a team of just three pool swimmers making it to the Championships. Only two of those were from New Zealand. Ali Galyer had every right to be there but in every other way she is American. Certainly the New Zealand domestic program could only deliver two swimmers to the Championships. Four years ago New Zealand sent a team of eight pool swimmers. That’s a 300% drop in team size. Swimming New Zealand has won the double; it has lost quality and quantity.

In the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships combined, New Zealand swimmers have won one Bronze medal. Well done Cotterill. Well done the Swimming New Zealand Board. Well done Steve Johns. I do hope you are proud of bringing a fine sport to its knees.

I thought it might be interesting to compare how the New Zealand 2014 Pan Pacific Games team performed in comparison to the 2018 team. The table below shows how far down Swimming New Zealand has brought us in four years.

Pan Pacs B Final Final Gold Silver Bronze Av. Place
2014 7 10 0 2 2 8.6
2018 3 5 0 0 0 10.3

Four years ago New Zealand swimmers competed in 10 finals and 7 “B” finals. This year the team managed 5 finals and 3 “B” finals. Four years ago New Zealand swimmers won 2 Silver medals and 2 Bronze medals. This year there were no medals of any sort. Four years ago the average place of a New Zealand swimmer was 9th place. Four years later that has slipped to an average of 11th. Take a bow Swimming New Zealand. That sure looks like a great result for four years work.

Probably the most positive quality of New Zealand’s performance was the percentage of PBs. From 16 swims the team recorded 5 personal best swims, a not spectacular, but better than normal 31%.

It is probably worth remembering that in four years from 2014 to 2018, the Swimming New Zealand Board has been given in excess of $4,000,000 by the New Zealand tax payer. That’s you and me. We gave the Board, that’s Cotterill, Brown, McKee, Tongue, Tootill and Perry and the CEO Johns $4,000,000. We were entitled to expect them to spend it wisely. We were entitled to expect a return on our investment. Instead they delivered no Pan Pacific medals compared to four medals last time. There is not a commercial company in New Zealand that would tolerate that performance. The shareholders of a properly run company would demand accountability. Resignations would be expected from any Board that delivered Swimming New Zealand’s 2018 results.

But this lot have no honour. They will trot next door asking High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) for their 2019 beneficiary handout as though this year’s performance was all part of a well-designed master plan. Cotterill will write an Annual Report that will tell us about another group of juniors about to stun the swimming world; and sadly he will get away with the lie. If HPSNZ was really doing what is best for swimming they would turn Cotterill and Johns away without a cent – nothing at all. HPSNZ must see that the $4,000,000 they have spent has been wasted. There is an old expression that says, why pour good money after bad? Why indeed?

Denying Swimming New Zealand any money at all would probably result in a mass of resignations. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? The decks would be cleared, dead wood would be discarded and responsible people could begin the process of reform.

There may be some who consider what is written here to be too harsh. But before passing judgement, go back to the table that compares where we were four years ago and where we are today. Nothing I say could be as harsh as that tragedy.

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