Two gold medals and a British best for Johnson

August 5 2010

15-year-old Matthew Johnson completed an impressive display on the third day of the British Gas ASA National Youth Championships (50m) 2010 with two golds, a British Age Group record and a silver medal.

In the first event of the evening the City of Sheffield swimmer proved he was on form, leading throughout to win the Boys 15/16yrs 200m Butterfly in a new British Age Group record of 2:02.07.

He was more than a second ahead of VZF Belgium’s Louis Croenen (2:03.16) and the next English finisher, Barnet Copt’s Oliver Keegan in 2:05.12.

“When at 100m I turned in 58 seconds I knew I was on course,” he said. “I was really only aiming to win as I was swimming the 200m IM almost straight after but I don’t tend to look around. I just knew what I had to do in the last 100m.”

Johnson then went on to pick up silver in the Boys 15/16yrs 200m IM but it was a strong Breaststroke leg that helped Joseph Patching (Plymouth Leander) earn victory in a personal best 2:05.20.

Yet the City of Sheffield swimmer rounded off the night with a win in the Boys Youth 4x200m Freestyle, with a 7:35.34 for the team.

Braxton Timm, who took the anchor leg for Sheffield – and who himself recorded a 1:51.88 to take the team to victory – said: “The team performance was great, we couldn’t have asked for anymore, especially from Johno who came straight out from his final to swim.

“I was pleased with my swim too. I’ve had a bit of an injury so I just wanted to win. I got to 50m and I thought I’m going to push and just crept ahead.”

Stockport Metro took the silver in 7:37.23 and Plymouth Leander A the bronze with 7:39.91.

In the Boys’ 17/18yrs 200m Butterfly, Kelly College’s Cameron Brodie showed his class in the last 100m, powering away from the field and finishing nearly three seconds ahead of his closest rival with 2:00.54.

Brodie said: “I felt strong all the way. I’m always better in the back end and I qualified for the Commonwealths [for Scotland] last week at the European Juniors and I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fluke! But it was a good race.

“I’ve been tapering for nine weeks so I’m surprised my fitness has lasted this long.”

O'Connor and Bradbury secure British Age Group records

The final of the Girls’ 14/15yrs 200m Breaststroke also proved one to watch, with new British bests set for both of the Age Groups.

14-year-old Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (Team Bath Y&A) fought off 15-year-old Charlotte Bradbury (Bolton Metro) to take the gold. O’Connor had led from the start but Bradbury pushed her in the last 25m, spurring both girls into clocking new marks with 2:30.94 and 2:31.11 respectively. Jessica Chadwick (Gallica) fought for the bronze in a time of 2:35.25.

O’Connor said: “My record was completely unexpected because I don’t tend to swim Breaststroke, I’m more of an IM swimmer.

“I was hoping to get a British Age Group record this year but not in the Breaststroke so I’m really pleased but it was a bit of a surprise.”

In the older age category, 17-year-old Avril Kiritschenko (Co Leeds) took the National title as she emerged as the clear leader and clocked 2:34.44 on her way to victory. But she admitted she was ‘more of a 100m’ breaststroke specialist.

“I think it helped going out strong,” she added. “With the Butterfly you can’t see the others really so it’s a race you have to swim yourself and it worked.”

In the 100m Freestyle it was Adam Rowe (Royal Wolv) who secured gold in the Boys’ 15/16yrs Age Group with 52.21. He was only a shade ahead on the turn but managed to push in the last 50m to clock a personal best time.

Rowe said: “That’s a PB for me so I can’t complain. I was confident but I didn’t know what everyone else was going to do. I’ve had a bit of an injury so I’m coming back to form. I just got my head down in the last part of the race and went for it.”

In the older Age Group, James Young (Plymouth Leander) managed to fight off Millfield’s James Disney-May in the last 50m to take the title in 51.18, with Disney-May taking silver in 51.28 and Ieuan Lloyd (Co Cardiff) in 51.70.

Young added: “That was a nice swim. I have Sunderland in a couple of weeks so this was really to test my fitness.

“For two years me and James [Disney-May] have had this rivalry so it usually goes one way or the other. I always relish the swim but my back end of the race is always strong and so I was happy with my swim.”

Ieuan Lloyd (Co Cardiff) added to his medal tally with a win in the Boys’ 17/18yrs 200m IM. His time of 2:04.00 saw him well ahead of second place Dan Wallace (Warrender Ba) in 2:05.43 and Lewis Coleman (teamipswich) in 2:05.57.

Earlier in the day, Danielle Hall-Jackson (Co Leeds) proved she was the best Girls’ 800m swimmer by taking the 14/15yrs Age Group title, and beating the older girls in the field.

In the fastest heat of the day, the early running was made by Jessica Thielmann (Co Newcastle) and Hall-Jackson’s teammate Anne Bochmann. But at the half way stage Hall-Jackson made a move and over the next 400m was able to pull away, touching in 8:44.58, ahead of Bochmann’s 8:45.36 and Thielmann’s 8:46.67.

The 15-year-old said: “I just tried to build each 200m. I tried to keep up with the leaders then with 400m to go just step it up.

“I always swim well at Nationals and there’s no rivalry between me and Anne, we train together sometimes on a Saturday morning.”

Bochmann also continued her good form in the evening’s racing, clocking a PB in both the 200m Freestyle and the 100m Butterfly semi finals to finish as the first and third fastest qualifier respectively.

For full results of the day’s racing click here

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