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SHEFFIELD’S MATTHEW JOHNSON SHINES ON DAY ONE OF ASA CHAMPS

22 Jul 2009
As the British Gas swimming team were preparing in Rome, the sport’s next generation of stars took to the pool at the British Gas ASA National Age Group Championships in Sheffield.

All eyes at Ponds Forge were on 14-year-old Matthew Johnson (Co. Sheffield) in the boys 400m final. After breaking Myles Crouch-Anderson’s British Age Group Record during the heats in the morning, Johnson got a strong start off the blocks and led from the front. Touching the wall in 3:59.84 he smashed the record that he set earlier in the day to take gold.

Pleased with his performance Johnson said: “I didn’t think I’d go that fast this morning, and then this evening was great. I went out there wanting to give my best effort and not hold anything back because in the final everyone is tough to beat.”

Johnson later doubled his medal tally by taking gold in the boys 14-years 200m breaststroke in 2:25.21 in front of an excited home crowd.

The boys 12-years 400m freestyle saw a tight race between Benjamin Levart (Amersham) and Jordan Hughes (N. Ayrshire). The two were neck-and-neck until the very end, but Levart managed to touch just under 0.4 seconds ahead of Hughes with a time of 4:24.59.

After two third place finishes at last year’s event Levart was excited to be going home with the title: “It feels great; I’ve never won gold before! At the end I was thinking ‘just go for it, just hang on’ and I did so I’m really happy.”

Last year’s BAGCAT award winner, Kristina Neves of Guernsey, was in fine form as she raced to the girls 12-years 1500m Freestyle title in 17:49.82.

“I feel really happy about winning, it was a really tough race and I’ve been training for it for a while so it’s a good result,” she said.

But she can’t rest on her laurels as she has more title to contest: “I’ve got lots more events to come so I hope to take home a few more medals.”

Kristina got her wish, taking her second gold of the day in the girls 12-years 100m freestyle ahead of Kelly Hookway (Camden Swiss) and Emily Knowles-Jones (Stockport Metro) in a time of 1:00.63.

The girls 12-years 400m IM was a tough race which saw a number of competitors take the lead early on only to lose it again, including Neves and Charlotte Disley. Georgina Young took charge during the breaststroke and managed to retain her lead until the end, capturing the title with a time of 5:11.79.

Plymouth Leander’s Jack Smith sped out in front after the first 100m of the boys 13-years 400m freestyle event and his competitors never managed to chase him down as he finished in a time of 4:10.83 beating Mark Szaranek (Carnegie) and Fraser Minnican (Barrow).

In a high-quality girls 13-years 100m freestyle final, that saw a number of competitors go under the one minute mark, Bath University’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor beat out Tegan Turner-Clarke (Co. Sheffield) and Courtney Rowan (Bournemouth D) to take the gold in a time of 58.07 seconds.

Of the performance she said: “I’m very happy; it’s a good way to start the week off. The past two years that I have come here I’ve been third behind my teammate so to step it up and take the gold is great. I’m really excited about the rest of the week”

-ENDS-

Full list of results for Day 1 – Wednesday 22nd July 2009

Girls 11-years 1500m Freestyle
1. Ellena Hoar (Portsmouth N) 19:02.74
2. Lucy Emma Walton (Co. Sunderland) 19:06.00
3. Nicole Ryan (Reading) 19:22.44

Girls 12-years 1500m Freestyle
1. Kristina Neves (Guernsey) 17:49.82
2. Nicola Graham (Co. Leeds) 18:24.83
3. Chloe Hannam (South Lincs) 18:32.78

Girls 13-years 1500m Freestyle
1. Madeleine Tichborne (Barnet Copt) 17:31.51
2. Molly Grayson (Co. Sheffield) 17:36.89
3. Zoe Gidden (Northampton) 17:43.34

Boys 11-years 400m freestyle
1. Mark Ovington (Derwentside) 4:40.81
2. Philip Dowding-Young (teamipswich) 4:42.67
3. Aaron Lloyd (Portsmouth N) 4:44.93

Boys 12-years 400m freestyle
1. Benjamin Levart (Amersham) 4:24.59
2. Jordan Hughes (N Ayrshire) 4:24.98
3. Benjamin Kerry (SwimTrafford) 4:34.45

Boys 13-years 400m freestyle
1. Jack Smith (Plymouth Leander) 4:10.83
2. Mark Szaranek (Carnegie) 4:12.89
3. Fraser Minnican (Barrow) 4:13.87

Boys 14-years 400m freestyle
1. Matthew Johnson (Co. Sheffield) 3:59.84 (British Age Group Record)
2. Joseph Poynter (Bournemouth) 4:03.66
3. Matthew Rose (Plymouth Leander) 4:08.05

Girls 11-years 400m IM
1. Penny Whittingham (Co. Birmingham) 5:17.62
2. Shauntelle Austin (Preston) 5:17.17
3. Jennifer King (N. Ayrshire) 5:25.65

Girls 12-years 400m IM
1. Georgina Young (Nova Centurian) 5:11.79
2. Lucy Davis (Gallica) 5:13.73
3. Charlotte Disley (Southport) 5:13.78

Girls 13-years 400m IM
1. Jessica Liss (Plymouth Leander) 4:54.88
2. Phoebe Lenderyou (Co. Newcastle) 5:02.70
3. Megan Davis (Gallica) 5:03.94

Boys 11-years 100m Backstroke
1. Martyn Walton (Hatfield) 1:09.42
2. Alan Wong (Ferndown) 1:10.25
3. Myles Pillage (Plymouth Leander) 1:11.04

Boys 12-years 100m Backstroke
1. Perry Gardner (Middlesboro) 1:06.81
2. Jack Ness (Co. Aberdeen) 1:06.90
3. Ellis Kube (Leic. Pengiuns) 1:07.38

Boys 13-years 100m Backstroke
1. Caleb Hughes (Mid Beds) 1:03.23
2. Jack Smith (Plymouth Leander) 1:03.89
3. Cameron Austin (Preston) 1:04.42

Boys 14-years 100m Backstroke
1. Matthew Powell (Plymouth Leander) 59.83
2. Nathan Theodoris (Bournemouth D) 1:00.58
3. Michael Harris (Plymouth Leander) 1:01.28

Girls 11-years 100m Freestyle
1. Gemma Swindell (Hatfield) 1:02.42
2. Brearnna Close (Co Manch Aq) 1:02.78
3. Emma Grayson (Co Liverpool) 1:02.98

Girls 12-years 100m Freestyle
1. Kristina Neves (Guernsey) 1:00.63
2. Kelly Hookway (Camden Swiss) 1:01.35
3. Emily Knowles-Jones (Stockport Metro) 1:01.63

Girls 13-years 100m Freestyle
1. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (Bath University) 58.07
2. Tegan Turner-Clarke (Co Sheffield) 59.41
3. Courtney Rowan (Bournemouth D) 59.48

Boys 11-years 200m Breaststroke
1. Rubens King (Guildford Ct) 5:54.97
2. Oliver Davidson (Long Eaton) 2:56.76
3. Edward Walsh (Thornbury) 2:58.82

Boys 12-years 200m Breaststroke
1. Rio Kurihara (Millfield) 2:39.62
2. James Thompson (Co Leeds) 2:43.55
3. Basile Burnel (Co Southampton) 2:46.08

Boys 13-years 200m Breaststroke
1. Sean Houlihan (Romford Town) 2:33.40
2. Harry Ackland (Plymouth Leander) 2:33.70
3. Hiroki Harazawa (Croydon Amph) 2:35.04

Boys 14-years 200m Breasstroke
1. Matthew Johnson (Co Sheffield) 2:25.21
2. Alexander Gregory (Heads Valley) 2:27.65
3. Luke Howdle (Nova Centurion) 2:29.02

Girls 11-years 200m Backstroke
1. Jennifer King (N Ayrshire) 2:26.05
2. Shauntelle Austin (Preston) 2:28.43
3. Emma Grayson (Co Liverpool) 2:30.83

Girls 12-years 200m Backstroke
1. Hannah Meek (Nova Centurion) 2:26.94
2. Charlotte McKenzie (Falkirk) 2:26.95
3. Emma Day (Guildford Ct) 2:28.69

Girls 13-years 200m Backstroke
1. Phoebe Lenderyou (Co Newcastle) 2:17.66
2. Holly Madden (Stockport Metro) 2:22.46
3. Jaeger Turner (Co Salford) 2:23.02

Boys 400m Freestyle Team
1. Plymouth Leander 3:37.01
2. Bournemouth Dolphins 3:42.09
3. Nova Centurion 3:44.08

For more information please contact the ASA/British Swimming Media Assistant, Lauren Sanderson on 07795 251 917 or email lauren.sanderson@swimming.org

About the ASA
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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