North Shore breaststroke specialist Glenn Snyders provided the highlight for New Zealand of the first session in the Olympic pool.
Snyders, touted as one of the big hopes of the swim squad after his impressive efforts at last years world championships, won his 100m breaststroke heat in a national record time of 59.78s and qualified fifth for this evenings semi-finals. His time beat his previous personal best by a sizeable 0.16s.
Im really happy, said the 25-year-old Snyders afterwards. I felt calm out there and Im so pleased to have had a good first-up swim at a major meet.
I wanted to go under [the one-minute mark] and did that. Now I just have to get myself ready to do it all again tonight in the semis.
The fastest qualifier was Australian Christian Sprenger, with 59.62s.
Waikato swimmer Matthew Stanley was the first New Zealander up in the pool, in the 400m freestyle.
Stanley, 20, was fifth in his heat in a time of 3min 49.44s, which placed him 14th among the 28 entrants in the event. His time was nearly two seconds down on his national record.
The fastest qualifier was Chinese Yang Sun, who swam 3min 45.07s.
Southlander Natalie Wiegersma finished fifth in her heat of the womens 400m individual medley in a time of 1min 44.78s, three seconds below her best. She finished 19th of the 35 entrants in the event.
The fastest qualifier was American Elizabeth Beisel, in 4min 31.68s. Olympic champion and world record-holder Stephanie Rice of Australia qualified seventh.