24th Feb, 2018

Wilkes captures top county honour once again

Liam Moakes 13th Feb, 2018

LONG-SERVING Redditch Swimming Club ace Paul Wilkes has won the prestigious Worcester County Swimming Association Founders Prize for the second time.

Wilkes, who has been the Redditch boys’ captain since the role was established in 2007, previously won the accolade in 2011 and has now scooped the 2017 honour.

During the past 18 months Wilkes has achieved some outstanding results, including winning both 100m fly and 200m fly gold in the 30-34-year age group at the May 2016 LEN European Masters Championships in London.

Later that year, at October’s ASA Masters Championships in Sheffield, golds were secured in the same age group events, before a 200m fly silver medal (30-34-years) was won in August 2017 at the 17th FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

At the 2017 ASA Masters Championships in Sheffield in October, Wilkes claimed a bronze medal in the 30-34-year 100m fly, but the crowning moment came in the 200m fly when his time of 2.07.45 – three seconds ahead of his nearest rival – proved sufficient to defend a title he has won since 2014.

Wilkes also won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke.

Wilkes has been in dominant form in Worcester County events over the years, having won the men’s open 200m fly title at the Worcester County Championships for seven consecutive years and ten years altogether from 2004.

His winning time last year was 2.07.85 and he is the current record holder in a time of 2.06.39, having broken the record twice in 2011.

He has won multiple County Championship gold medals, including ten consecutive 100m fly titles from 2004 to 2013.

Worcester County Swimming secretary Vivienne Hewitt said: “Paul is a very worthy winner of this year’s Founders Prize.

“The Founders Prize arises following a bequest from the founder of Worcester County Swimming Association, Edgar Henry Summer, in 1927 and it has been awarded since 1968.

“It has featured swimmers in the last 25 years who have gone on to compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games and is a fantastic roll call for a small county.”

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