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ENGLAND CENTRAL RETAIN TITLE AT UK SCHOOL GAMES

05 Sep 2009

The second and final day of competition at the 2009 UK School Games saw the remaining 22 events completed at the Wales National Pool in Swansea.

England Central continued their fantastic form to defend their title with 291 points and 19 gold medals after a number of superb performances from some of their young stars.

Sophie Smith swam 2:19.66 in the Women’s 200m IM to take the gold over yesterday’s Women’s 400m IM winner, Alice Tennant of England East. Smith who has just come off the back of her most successful National Championships ever, where she claimed a gold, two silver and three bronze medals, is pleased with how the meet has been going so far.

“It feels really good, I came here wanting a medal and to get the record as well is great. We got the relay golds as well so we’ve all done brilliantly,” said Smith.

“It’s my second time here and it’s always a really good atmosphere and we have a good time. My ambition is to compete in the Olympics and I think that this is good preparation.”

Jacob Laybourne, also of England Central, claimed a new UK School Games along with his gold medal in the Men’s 200m Butterfly with a time of 2:07.48. He beat England North’s Joseph French (2:09.02) into second and England East’s Oliver Keegan (2:10.84) into third.

“I wasn’t expecting that at all. I haven’t been training much since Nationals so get the record is really good,” said Laybourne.

Laybourne later went on to claim the Men’s 400m Freestyle title in 4:11.84 ahead of Scotland South and East’s Cameron Smith and England East’s Christopher Inch.

Amberly Hoar claimed a gold medal for England South in the Women’s MD 200m IM in a time of 3:00.89. The S14 swimmer will be heading to Iceland for the European Disability Championships later this year, and is enjoying her time in Swansea having claimed gold in the Women’s MD 100m Backstroke yesterday.

“I wasn’t really expecting to get the gold today,” said Hoar.

“It’s my first time at UK School Games and it’s really fun, I like being part of the team.”

In a new Games record time Xander Alari-Williams won gold for England East in the
Men’s 100m Breaststroke with a time of 1:05.95. The 16-year-old beat England Central’s Richard Spoor into silver (1:07.45) and Tim Allmond into bronze (2:08.12).

The Men’s 200m IM was decided in the final seconds as England North’s Matthew Johnson was challenged for gold by Mitchell Adshead from England South.

Johnson was too strong on the freestyle leg and took the title, along with his second UK School Games record, in 2:08.22.

The Men’s MD 100m Butterfly was won by Jacob Parker of England Central with a time of 1:09.88.

A tight Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay was played out in front of an excited crowd as the England Central quartet swam 8:32.64 to take the title. Later in the day the team made it three relay golds out of three as they took the Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay title in a new Games record time of 4:24.21.

The closest, and perhaps most exciting, race of the day concluded proceedings as England Central snatched the Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay title in the final strokes over England East by less than two tenths of a second in 3:56.59.

British Gas swimmer and double Commonwealth champion, Chris Cook, was on hand throughout the competition to award the winners with their medals and was pleased with the swimming that he witnessed.

“It’s been absolutely inspirational coming here and seeing how all of the athletes conduct themselves,” said Cook.
“There’s been some amazing swimming but also the help from the coaches, officials and all of the staff has been incredible.”

“I’m sure that we will be seeing many of the swimmers on the podium in the future at London 2012 and beyond.”

For a full list of results please CLICK HERE

Final team standings:
1st – England Central 291 points
2nd – England North 247 points
3rd – England East 226 points
4th England South 211.5 points
5th – Wales 171 points
6th – Scotland South and East 162 points
7th Ireland 128 points
8th – Scotland North and West 116.5 points

-ENDS-

For more information please contact the ASA/British Swimming Media Assistant, Lauren Sanderson on 07795 251917 or email lauren.sanderson@swimming.org

The ASA is the English National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Open Water, and Synchronised Swimming. It organises competition throughout England, establishes the Laws of the Sport and operates comprehensive certification and education programmes for Teachers, Coaches and Officials as well as its renowned Learn To Swim Awards scheme. The ASA supports 1,220 affiliated swimming clubs through a National/Regional/County structure. The ASA aims to ensure everybody has an opportunity to learn to swim.

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