THERE were some highly impressive successes for five Redditch Swimming Club aces at two prestigious events at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
Firstly, at the top level British Summer Championships, Issy Griffiths and Lizzie Kingham showed great form in a number of events and both came home with medals.
Griffiths, in the 17/18-years group, is now an experienced swimmer at this level and recently competed for Great Britain in the European Junior Championships in Hungary.
She was in fine form once again to win the silver medal in the 800m freestyle in 8:42.49 and finished fourth in the final of the 400m freestyle.
In contrast, Lizzie Kingham was swimming at her first British Championships, having qualified for no fewer than five events – the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 200m and 400m individual medleys.
Kingham gained new personal bests in four events and qualified for three finals in her age group (13/14-years) – the 200m breaststroke and 200m and 400m individual medleys – and won bronze in the 200m IM in a time of 2:23.93.
Next on the big stage at the following week’s National (English) Summer Championships were Hollie Richmond, Amelia Rodd, Millie Checkley and Kingham, who was back for more swims, and the quartet all swam new personal bests and made finals.
Richmond, 14, achieved a new personal best in the heats of the 50m backstroke with her first sub-32 second time, then finished joint seventh in the final in a time of 31.75.
Checkley, 12, another newcomer to competition at this level, had done exceptionally well to qualify for these championships despite being in the lower half of the 12/13-years age group.
Checkley made the final of the 200m breaststroke and finished tenth in a new personal best of 2:50.45.
Kingham competed in the 100m and 200m backstroke and made the final in the 200m, finishing sixth with a new personal best of 2:26.09.
Rodd, following recent success in the British Open Water Swimming Championships, had four swims throughout the week in Sheffield.
After some initial nerves in her first event, the 200m freestyle, Rodd steadily improved and gained new personal bests in the 50m, 400m and 100m freestyle events.
She qualified for the finals of the 400m and 100m freestyle, finishing seventh in the 400m and winning bronze in the 100m final in a time of 59.97 as she broke the one-minute barrier for the first time.
Redditch Swimming Club head coach Chris Britt was delighted by these performances and said: “It was great to see all five girls putting in brilliant performances at national level after a long and hard season.
“These championships are the main target meet for our elite swimmers and it is extremely satisfying to have five qualifiers competing in no fewer than 27 races (including finals) at this high level, which is surely a record for our club.
“Issy, Hollie, Lizzie, Amelia and Millie have worked incredibly hard for this and really deserve their success.”
If you have been inspired by Adam Peaty, Jazz Carlin and the other Olympic swimmers and would like to give competitive swimming a try, please email Chris Britt at email@example.com.