On April 18-23 City of Derby sent 7 swimmers to compete at Ponds Forge for the British Swimming Championships. This meet included the top junior swimmers up to the top senior international swimmers in the Country. It was an exciting week of racing as well as being a great opportunity to watch our Country’s Rio Olympians back in action with the aim of qualifying for the World Championships coming up this summer. If you had a chance to get up to Sheffield for finals it was a spectacle of an event both for our athletes who competed and for those aiming to get under the World Championship qualifying and consideration times!
A huge congratulations goes to all swimmers: Amy Grant, Sophie Yendell, Ellie Baldwin, Will Foster, Kieran Wheatley, Greg Butler and Ryan Gordon! This was a challenging field of competition and our swimmers did well in both their preparation and execution of race tactics to move up their rankings, secure a lifetime best, secure a season’s best, secure a spot in finals and to race the field in their heat draw. Managing a pressure filled situation is challenging for swimmers at all levels whether it be their first meet or a championship meet such as this. From our little ones learning to remember proper stroke mechanics to our older ones learning to stay calm in a field of the Country’s best the stress can present itself in many different ways. Regardless of its form, pressure and stress is still one for athletes to work with and use as a positive means to fuel their swims. Our City of Derby team has earned a well done for having successfully managed this and produced the swims that they have done!
There are numerous highlights from the meet including:
· Lifetime best times from Kieran Wheatley (400 IM), Sophie Yendell (50 Fly, 100 Fly, 100 Free), Greg Butler (50 Breast, 100 Breast), Will Foster (400 Free, 200 IM) and Amy Grant (50 Free)
· Junior finalists included: Greg Butler in 50 Breaststroke with a first ever swim under 30.00 seconds in the prelim at 29.96 and another best time posted in the final at 29.66 seconds. Kieran Wheatley in 400 IM with a lifetime best in prelims at 4:35.07 and just over that in the final with 4:35.42.
· Target Tokyo finalists included: Ellie Baldwin in 100 Backstroke and 200 Backstroke both in season’s best times at 1:03.33 in the 100 and 2:16.00 in the 200. Amy Grant in 50 Freestyle with a lifetime best in the prelim at 26.36 and just over that in the final with 26.58.
· Open finalist and silver medalist: Sophie Yendell in Women’s 50 Fly against a field of seasoned swimmers who were up to 12 years older than her. This was a huge achievement for Sophie in a pressure filled situation! She went 26.99 in the prelim and 26.90 in the final, which are both new 15 year old British Age Group records.
With a cycle of training and competition over it is time for our swimmers to reflect on the successes, the mistakes, the highs and the lows to put into improved practice for their next peak meet at British Summer Championships! Well done to all and good luck in the coming months as you prepare for the summer championship meets!
A final congratulations to our graduated swimmers over at the Loughborough National Training Centre on their performances at British Champs! Adam Peaty clocked a 57.79 in the 100m Breaststroke to swim under the World Championship qualification standard. Sarah Vasey finished first in the women’s 100m Breaststroke with a 1:06.78, which was under the consideration time for World Championship selection. Luke Greenbank won the men’s 200m Backstroke in a time of 1:57.76, which was just outside the consideration standard for World Championships. All three swimmers have now officially been selected to the World Championship team and we wish them all the best this summer!
Stay tuned for more competitions this weekend with the British Para International Championships and the Age Group East Midland Championships!