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England Talent swimmers star at Beacon Games 2017

Swimmers from the England Talent Development Squad starred at last weekend’s Beacon Games 2017.

The Development Squad athletes all placed in the top 17 in the 13-15 Years Figure competition, spaced between some athletes from the England Age Group squad and a couple of Beacon athletes.

England Synchro Manager Karen Thorpe said: “This result is encouraging for the next year’s Age Group Squad. I am certain that we will have a very strong team next year.”

England Age Group Squad member Isobel Blinkhorn and England Junior Training Squad member Teri-Faye Coupar finished top in the 13-15 Yrs and 15-18 Yrs Figures respectively.

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Meanwhile, the Development Squad performed an impressive exhibition of their Team Free routine, a performance coached by Maria Shortman and Rhiannon Williams.

Shortman said: “This routine was very challenging for these young athletes. They have only had 15 days together since February and have learned new techniques very quickly.

“We have been impressed with their ability, which will stand us in good stead for next year.”

International medallist Blinkhorn top-scores across all age groups

Blinkhorn (Reading Royals) was the top scorer across all age groups on the day, winning the 13-15 Yrs age group with 62.5000.

The 14-year old came into the event with plenty of confidence, having won Solo bronze for England at last month’s Primorje Cup in Croatia.

Her result in Reading was a significant improvement on Croatia, where she scored 61.8556 to finish ninth overall for Figures.

The next 12 swimmers in the 13-15 Yrs rankings – and 14 of the next 16 – were all members of the England Talent squad.

City of Salford’s Aimee Lawrence was second on 62.1251 while Walsall’s Robyn Swatman was third with 61.5265.

Portsmouth Victoria’s Daisy Gunn (61.5000) and Reading Royals’ Alyssa Basinger (61.3258) also broke 60 points as they finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Coupar also broke the 60 point marker to win the 15-18 Yrs age group, scoring 60.8606 while Reading and England Talent teammate Cerys Larsen was third on 57.0666.

Another Reading Royals swimmer, Alex Turrell, split the pair on 59.8545.

Saunders and Staples emerge as NAG contenders in 12&Under age group

The youngest age group – the 12 & Under – saw the emergence of a couple of names to watch at this year’s National Age Group Championships.

Reading pair Rebecca Saunders and Madeleine Staples scored 61.2271 and 60.1836 to finish first and second.

Walsall’s Taliah Alves completed the podium with 58.7342.

The overall Beacon Trophy, awarded to the Performance Club with the highest average score, was awarded to Reading.

The Berkshire club averaged 52.5786 for their Performance Club swimmers to finish ahead of Rushmoor, Bristol and Leeds.

Click here to find out more about the Swim England Performance Clubs.