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Portsmouth Northsea end on a high with success in 2k races at Rother Valley

Portsmouth Northsea secured two of four available gold medals in the 2k races at the Swim England Open Water National Age Group Championships.

The results saw them end the championships on a high as the club collected the final two medals of the day.

The podium success came via Makar Yakhno and Darcey Smith and rounded off a great day of competitive open water racing.

Yakhno looking to build on gold medal

Yakhno made it a second medal, but the first gold, for Portsmouth Northsea after his victory in the Boys 13 Years 2k race.

The club had already opened their medal account after Thomas Jennings collected a silver in the Boys 15 Years 3k race earlier in the day.

Jennings was just three seconds behind the gold medal winner, but this time around it was his teammate Yakhno who finished just ahead.

The youngster won by two seconds, finishing in a time of 22:49, and is now looking ahead to the upcoming Swim England National Summer Meet.

He said: “I’m pleased with how I did, I just swam my normal race, so I’m very happy to win gold.

“We’ve done some hard sessions to get ready for this event and now I’m looking forward to the English nationals next week.”

In second place was Millfield’s Kaden Frampton (22:51) and in third was William Wilson (23:51) of City of Leeds.

Delight for Darcey

Darcey Smith added to the success of her teammate with a super swim in the Girls 13 Years 2k race.

The Portsmouth Northsea swimmer explained that she built on her performance throughout the race, which helped on her way to achieving gold.

Smith clocked a time of 23:29 to finish a total of 20 seconds clear of her nearest rival.

Jasmine Hall of Basildon Phoenix was the swimmer to finish in 23:49, followed by City of Coventry’s Phoebe Lawton (24:00).

After the race, Smith said: “It’s really good, I’m really happy with my swim. I was just building throughout the whole race and going as fast as I could.

“Training has been hard but we’ve eased off a little, and now it’s summer so we get a nice break.”

Hayden happy with result

Hayden Sanders of Greenwich Royals was happy with his performance overall after he finished on top of the pile in the Boys 12 Years 2k race.

Despite what he felt was a slightly slow start to his race, Sanders was able to work his way into the gold medal position.

In the end, it was a comfortable win for the young swimmer, as he managed a time of 25:12.

Thomas Rickels and Archie Ainslie battled it out for the remaining podium places – but it was Rickels who was quickest to the finish.

The Winsford swimmer achieved a time of 25:38, with City of Sheffield’s Ainslie finishing two seconds later for bronze.

On his swim, Sanders said: “I’m really happy after how much it took to get here – it means a lot to me.

“I haven’t been training too hard, it’s been more of a taper. I think my second lap went well, my first lap could’ve gone better, but overall I’m happy.”

Summer success for Smith

Romford Town’s Summer Smith won gold in the Girls 12 Years 2k race and already has her sights set on next year’s event, and potentially even more medals.

Smith explained that her preparation ahead of this year’s championships had stood her in good stead. Her 2k triumph was completed in a time of 24:44.

The silver medal-winning time for Barnet Copthall’s Leyla Jelbaoui was 24:55, and Morpeth’s Abby Coventry (25:39) was the bronze medallist.

Smith said: “I’m very happy to win gold, today went really well. I train most days, so I put in a lot of effort which has prepared me well for this event.

“I will definitely be back next year and I’m looking forward to it already.”

Images: Will Johnston Photography