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This month’s Swimming Times

Swimming Times is the official magazine of the ASA and British Swimming. Read about the latest issue below. Click on the buttons to reveal the story.

News Round-up

  • It’s usually hard to pick out a mega-star when there’s a veritable galaxy of stellar performances but not this time. Derby teenager Adam Peaty, unknown in international swimming until 2014, returned from Berlin with an unmatchable tally of four gold medals and two world records – the only world records of the entire championships. The signs were there from day one, when City of Derby’s 19-year- old Commonwealth champion set a British record time of 58.68 in the 100m breaststroke semi-finals to lead the qualifiers. He couldn’t quite repeat that time in the final 24 hours later but it hardly mattered as he and Ross Murdoch – fresh from leading a Scottish one-two with Michael Jamieson in the 200m in Glasgow – claimed a podium one-two for Britain in 58.86 and 59.43.
  • When Plymouth-based Ruta Meilutyte won the 50m breaststroke on the last day in Berlin, she also completed remarkable grand slams for herself and coach Jon Rudd that are unlikely ever to be equalled. Her European Championship victory in 29.89sec came just four days after she won a 100m breaststroke title half-a- world away at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. The latest wins mean the 17- year-old world and Olympic champion and world record holder has won gold medals at all 11 major international competitions that are open to her – senior and junior.
  • All eight swimmers in Britain’s Youth Olympic Games team returned from China with at least one medal – and in Jess Fullalove’s case, three. While the squad’s only gold medal went to the men’s 4x100m freestyle team of Duncan Scott, Munro Miles, Martyn Walton and Luke Greenbank, Fullalove collected a trio of silver medals – and missed an individual gold by the slimmest margin. Greenbank also claimed an individual podium place. A month after Scott, Miles, Walton and Jack Smith won gold in the European juniors, the men qualified fourth fastest for the Nanjing final but then carved more than five seconds off their heat time to take the gold with more than a second to spare in 3:21.19. Scott gave Britain an early lead with the fastest first-leg split of 49.67 and Miles increased the gap with 49.83, again the best split of the leg. They were among only six swimmers out of 32 in the final to go sub 50sec. Walton’s 50.18 and Greenbank’s 51.51 ensured that Britain never lost the lead despite the efforts of the closing Italy and Germany, who saved their quickest men to last to take silver and bronze respectively in 3:22.29 and 3:22.93.

For more news you can click here to purchase the October 2014 issue of Swimming Times.

This Life

CORRIE LEECH Bristol Central’s British synchro solo, duet and team champion talks to Swimming Times about her future plans, her recent international success and how the funding cut has affected the sport

I was a member of the England Talent synchro squad that took part in the Primorje Cup competition in Croatia. I was in an 11- strong junior team aged 15 to 18 but we also had an age group team of 10 swimmers aged 13 to 15.

All 11 members of the junior team did the figures. I came 11th, which was the top England placing. Phoebe Bradley-Smith was 12th and she also did a very good solo and came seventh.

Elise Denner and I teamed up for the duet and came fourth. We were really happy with that as we did a good swim and there was quite a lot of competition. We did hope to get in the top three but the competition was very good. The other England duet, Lara Hockin and Emma Carpenter, came fifth.

To read more from Corrie you can click here to purchase a copy of the October 2014 issue of Swimming Times.

Honesty Box

EMMA BACK The 2013 Swimtastic Parent of the Year award winner reveals that she’s an activist by nature and how meeting her hero Nelson Mandela taught her one of life’s biggest lessons.

If I could bring about change, I would... That’s a sentence in its own right, I think! If I could bring about change, I would. I’m an activist by nature, and I’m always discovering things I’d like to improve in my community, as well as issues at a global level that I want to do something about. I’ve spent the last 20 years working in international development, global health and the environment, often living and/ or working outside the UK. However, I’m now relishing the chance to tackle some issues on my own doorstep. My local swimming club, Winchester City Penguins SC, where my daughter swims, nominated me for the Swimtastic Awards because of the work I’ve been doing with them – and others – to try and secure a legacy for Winchester from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

My heroes are... Nelson Mandela is still my ultimate hero…I was working with one of Mandela’s foundations on HIV and AIDS, and had the honour and privilege of meeting him, quite unexpectedly and a little bizarrely. I was meeting with his chief of staff in a room to the side of his office, when the door opened and Mandela walked in, apologised and crossed to a bathroom on the other side. We carried on with our meeting as best we could, and when he emerged he came to chat with us. I won’t go into the details, but it was the kind of experience that reminds you that your heroes are also regular human beings.

To discover what else Emma reveals in Honesty Box you can click here to buy the October 2014 issue of Swimming Times. 

Annie's Tale

A ruptured ligament threatened to end Annie Sharp’s swimming career – but less than a year later she’s back to her best. Claire Hennessy tells how her recovery was achieved

Six foot one, long, lean, 13 years old, national level swimmer and determined to have a good year. This was how Annie Sharp started her season in September 2013. Two months later, the season had crashed and a return to nationals in 2014 was looking bleak. But then began a story of courage and determination, wonderful, skilled coaching and supportive friendships.

At a level 1 meet in a lovely, welcoming pool and looking on course for a good season, Annie went in the last race of the day. It was the race they wait around for, as it’s the one they are good at and where the race practice is always useful – the one where they try and push through the tiredness. It was the 100m backstroke, going well and on her PB, but she hit the wall badly at the finish and felt an immediate, intense pain in her elbow.

The next day, a black, crescent-shaped bruise appeared on the inner aspect of her elbow. While she thought the bruise looked minor and insignificant, Annie also wondered if she had broken her arm, as she now had constant pain on moving her elbow.

During the next week she had various tests that demonstrated that the ulnar collateral ligament had completely ruptured and was not attached to anything. This is one of the three ligaments and the most important ligament attached to the bones, which make the elbow work as a hinge joint. This meant her elbow was now extremely weak and at risk of dislocation, especially with sudden sideways movement. Apparently, this is a rare but known injury in the swimming world and is considered a possible end of competitive swimming.

To find out more about Annie's recovery you can click here to buy the October 2014 issue of Swimming Times. 

Golden Haul 

Britain’s swimmers won an average of one gold medal each at the IPC European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven – well above their target.

The British Gas GBR team’s haul of 30 golds at the IPC European Championships in Eindhoven will have made Chris Furber a happy man. Increasing the British team’s gold medal tally is a top priority for Furber, since UK Sport funding targets are based solely on gold medals. The 30 achieved in Eindhoven was three more than at the previous European Championships, and 50 per cent more than the team’s target of 20.

The Eindhoven team was also smaller than the one fielded in Berlin in 2011 – 30 athletes compared to 39. Of the swimmers to win individual gold, four became European champions for the first time – Steph Slater, Andrew Mullen, Hannah Russell and Amy Marren. However, the performance of the more experienced swimmers will have made Furber equally happy, given his stated goal of seeing all the swimmers producing PBs, regardless of age.

To dive in to the rest of this article by you can click here to buy the October 2014 issue of Swimming Times

Old Club, New Challenge 

It’s one of the West Midlands’ oldest clubs and has clawed its way to the top in recent years – but now Boldmere SC faces a big new challenge as budget cuts bite.

It’s a huge undertaking,’ says Shirley Wigley, chair of a West Midlands swimming club caught in the turbulent wash of a problem that is not of its making. Her club had until September this year to convince Birmingham City Council it can run one of nine pools and leisure centres the authority is closing or offloading to help bridge the gulf between council income and outlay. Schools, communities and other non-profit groups can bid for the sites, which, for Boldmere SC, could mean finding the man and womanpower to fulfil every aspect of swimming pool Budget stripping management, from lifeguards to accountants and pump operators. And it’s not just the closure of Castle Pool, north-east of Birmingham, that will affect the 660- member club.

‘We use six pools and are anxious about all of them,’ Shirley says. ‘If they’re sold to private operators, our life could become very difficult. Castle Pool is small but it would be a bit of a firewall. It’s up to the council to decide whether or not we are a fit and proper organisation to run it.’

With Government cuts forcing the council to
make huge savings and thousands of unequal
pay claimants awaiting settlement from the authority, Boldmere has been caught in a tidal wave of budget stripping. But, as one of the region’s top clubs boasting a thriving learn-to- swim section and a growing number of highly talented swimmers, the club is turning every stone to make sure it stays afloat and maintains its progress. Threats to pools are mere ripples against the club’s heady ambition ‘to get through the glass ceiling’ and compete with the likes of Plymouth Leander and City of Leeds.

You can read the rest of this article by purchasing the October 2014 issue of Swimming Times by clicking here.  

Girl Power

City of Leeds’ girls scored almost twice as many points as their nearest challengers to propel their club to the female top trophy at the British Gas ASA National Age Group Championships – and their contribution also helped to win the overall trophy as well.

The British Gas ASA National Age Group Championships ended with City of Leeds winning the overall club title following the five-day event at Ponds Forge. A commanding display saw the girls win their respective title, the Yorkshire club’s total of 221 points almost double that of second- placed Stockport Metro, who finished with 114pts.

Hamilton UAE were about both quality and quantity. Their squad of just three swimmers claimed 17 medals to take the boys’ title with 159pts, 51 ahead of second-placed Plymouth Leander.

But it was the enormous contribution of the girls at Leeds that propelled them to the overall title with 254pts, the Richard Denigan-led club 84pts ahead of Plymouth Leander, who pipped Hillingdon to second by one point.

There were British age group records in the boys’ 13yrs category for Ryan Retson in the 200m freestyle and Sam Dailley in the 100m butterfly with 200m breaststroke swimmers Greg Butler and Joshua Lawson setting new marks in the 13 and 14 age groups respectively.

Other standout performances came from Holly Hibbott, who followed up her silver in the 800m freestyle at the European Junior Championships with seven gold and two silver medals in Sheffield. South African Luan Evert Grobbelaar of Baracudas RSA paid eight visits to the podium, standing on top on four occasions, while Millfield’s Joshua Lawson scooped five medals of which four were gold

To read more about the National Age Group Championships you can click here to purchase the October 2014 issue of Swimming Times.

Master Blogger

Verity Dobbie made a dog’s dinner of her racing suit – but that was before she met a canine friend called Gobi

The World Masters Championships generally start with the 800m freestyle, which is quite a gentle introduction to the meet (if you are an official or spectator, that is). However, if you are a swimmer, it is 16 lengths of gut-wrenching agony and more pain than you can ever imagine, particularly if you decide to use your legs.

Before you get into the water, you have to run the gauntlet of the warm-up pool, interspersed with an infinite number of loo stops as the fight-or-flight reflexes kick in. Then, when you think you can’t go any more, you have to struggle into your racing suit.

As if this wasn’t sufficient cruel and unusual punishment, you then have to make your way through marshalling. In my early days at this, I hated marshalling, and I would try my best to simply pop up on the poolside as late as possible, but having gone through this process about a zillion times, I’m pretty relaxed about it.

It does give you the opportunity to chat to your fellow competitors and weigh them up, and it can get pretty tense. I was also rumbled early on in the breaststroke marshalling by my fellow competitors, who realised I was only joking with my British record entry time of 2:23 for the 200m breaststroke. Eventually it's your turn and you’re under starter’s orders…

To find out how Verity fared click here to buy the October 2014 issue of Swimming Times

Making Waves

Jo Cooper re-enters the debate over whether teachers should be able to swim – and looks at the tricky dilemma of how to deal with disabled teachers.

I’d like to respond to Ian Watson’s letter (August 2014) regarding disabled teachers. Thank you, Ian, for correcting my mistake. You are right, of course – it is the 10/20 system of scanning and being able to get to a casualty in 20 seconds. Even with 10 seconds taken off my original total, 30 seconds is still too long for a casualty to wait.

Everyone has a duty of care and is liable for litigation if something goes wrong. There must be a risk assessment done to make sure that all staff meet the required standard to be safe and to deliver a safe service to the public. Nobody is exempt.

My father was deaf and experienced a great deal of discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s. He would get a job, turn up on the Monday and get his cards on the Friday. He worked in the building trade and was responsible for wood, bricks and concrete. His speedy dismissals were so unfair. However, he was not immediately responsible for anyone’s life.

I am adamantly in favour of fairness for all, whatever their race, creed or disability. But it seems to me that Ian is asking me to put the Disabilities Discrimination Act up against Health and Safety. Being able to teach well is a gift and certainly not restricted by disability.

To wade into the debate you can click here to buy a copy of the October 2014 Swimming Times.


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