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Molyneaux and Bennett win national titles in thrilling open water race

John Molyneaux and Pip Bennett won their respective age group national titles in a thrilling finish to the Men’s 5km race at the Swim England Open Water National Masters Championships.

Molyneaux, Bennett, Chris Grey and James Gill were locked in a four-way battle throughout the race and there was little to separate them as they turned around the final buoy.

GB Police swimmer Molyneaux turned on the pace in the closing stages to take the overall victory and win gold in the 30-34 age group, finishing in an impressive 1:11:45.

Teddington’s Grey was 12 seconds behind as he won silver.

Just a stroke behind Molyneaux, the battle was on for gold in the 35-39 age group.

Otter’s Bennett had just enough in the tank as he touched the finishing gate in 1:11:47, two seconds ahead of City of Cambridge’s Gill.

Perry Beeches swimmer Charlie Wheadon completed the podium in 1:27:50.

Emm and Parkes shine for gold

The fifth and sixth fastest times of the event came in the 50-54 and 55-59 age group.

Colchester’s Simon Emm claimed the 50-54 title in an impressive 1:14:58, with St Albans’ Craig Kirkland winning silver and City of Coventry’s Martyn Brunt picking up bronze.

Nicholas Parkes was crowned 55-59 champion, clocking 1:17:11 for a comfortable victory.

The East Leeds swimmer was in the second chasing pack and strode away for the win ahead of Borough of Redbridge’s Ralph Pinel (1:21:46) and South London’s Brian Daly (1:34:34).

Colchester won two golds over 5km, with Robert Milburn adding the 45-49 title to Emm’s win.

Milburn won bronze in the 3km in 2017 and made a strong debut after moving up an age group, winning in 1:17:25.

Amersham’s Charles Bagot won the silver medal in 1:24:13.

City of Norwich’s Harry Crisp (1:18:54) won the 25-29 title, ahead of Trafford Metro’s Warren Kaveney (1:27:24).

Epsom District’s first medal of the day came in the 40-44 age group as Daniel Mcendoo won gold by five-and-a-half minutes.

Mcendoo clocked 1:22:51, while silver was won by Teddington’s Philip Pellegrini and bronze taken by Southern Isle of Man’s Dane Harrop.

Meanwhile, Northampton’s John Parker won the 60-64 title, as Brighton’s Michael Read took out the 75-79 race.

Photo: Will Johnston Photography