ENGLAND CENTRAL DOMINATE ON FIRST DAY OF COMPETITION AT UK SCHOOL GAMES
05 Sep 2009
Yesterday marked the first day of action in the pool at the 2009 UK School Games. Over 200 elite school-aged swimmers took to the water to battle it out for medals and earn their team some vital points.
Double Commonwealth Champion David Carry was on hand to open proceedings and later took to the commentary booth as the competition got underway.
An impressive display was seen from many as 2008 Champions, England Central, dominated once again.
Sixteen-year-old James Grieve was one of England Central’s star performers taking top honours in the Men’s 200m Freestyle with a time of 1:56.33. England North’s Samuel Davies finished second in 1:57.91 with Martin Littlefair of England South claiming third in 1:57.94.
“I didn’t know what to expect: I’ve only been in the water three times since Nationals so to come away with the gold is great,” said Grieve.
“It’s the first time I’ve competed at UK School Games and I’m really enjoying it. I went to the Opening Ceremony last night as well which was pretty cool.”
A new UK School Games record was set by England Central’s Holly Lynch as she claimed the Women’s 100m Backstroke title in 1:05.63. The 16-year-old City of Birmingham swimmer is competing at the UK School Games for the first time this year and was very pleased with her result.
“I wasn’t expecting to win the gold at all: it was a complete shock!” Said Lynch.
“I’m really enjoying competing here and it’s an absolutely amazing experience. Last season wasn’t my best so to come here and break the record has been really good.”
The Men’s 100m Butterfly was won by England Central’s Jamie Thorpe in a time of 56.33, with England North’s Joseph French coming in second touching in 58.49.
Another event but this time gold went to England North as Matthew Johnson took the title. After taking ten gold medals in the pool at the British Gas National Age Group Championships, the 14-year-old proved that he was one to beat, racing ahead from the start and holding off the rest of the competition.
“I’ve had some time off and only been back in the water for a week so I didn’t come here expecting much. My time was definitely better than I thought I could do so I’m really pleased with that,” he said.
“I love being her at the UK School Games and being part of the team. They’re all very supportive and pushing me on. I couldn’t do it without them.”
England Central also claimed gold in both the Men’s and Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relays, with the women’s team becoming the first ever to break the four-minute-mark at the UK School Games in a time of 3:58.95.
Speaking afterwards Sophie Smith said: “It’s fantastic. I’m really proud of the team really delighted with the result.”
Today will see a further 22 events contested as the teams compete to be crowned 2009 champions.
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