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Nottingham Leander win trio of 3km open water titles in Peterborough

Nottingham Leander won a trio of titles in the Men’s 3km at the Swim England Open Water National Masters Championships.

The club’s first gold came in the first wave as Paul Wheatley won an enthralling battle with Colchester’s Simon Emm in the 50-54 age group

Emm – who won the 5km race earlier in the day – applied pressure to Wheatley, but the Nottingham swimmer was too strong, pulling away to win in 44:21, 21 seconds clear of silver medallist Emm.

D.T.S swimmer Stephen Hammond won the bronze medal in 46:26.

If Wheatley had been in the same wave as his clubmate Wayne Stott, the pair would have enjoyed an eye-catching tussle at the finish.

Stott swam exactly the same time as Wheatley to comfortably win the 45-49 age group, with Barnet Copthall’s Simon Marsden in second and Loughborough’s Nick White third.

Nottingham Leander’s third gold of the day separated the victories for Wheatley and Stott.

Robert Steel – the 2017 national champion over 3km – won gold in 48:53, ahead of Hyde Seal’s Ian Foden (55:17).

Back-to-back

Three swimmers successfully backed up from their 5km wins and sealed back-to-back golds in their respective age groups.

City of Norwich’s Harry Crisp (25-29), Otter’s Pip Bennett (35-39) and East Leeds’ Nicholas Parkes (55-59) all topped the podium for the second time in the day.

Harry said: “It’s been a good day, really lovely weather and this is a beautiful venue. They were all really hard swims I was up against good competition and I’m not in a lot of pain.

“This year has been a bit topsy turvy for me. I changed clubs to join City of Norwich, which is a fantastic club, and then I ended up wrenching my rotator cuff back in June and I was strapped up over that.

“I had to completely change my stroke technique and I only got back in open water about a month ago, so it’s been a bit of a hard journey this year.

“This is my first competition since the injury and it held up today, which is interesting. The next one I’ve got is club championships and then probably the Nationals over at Sheffield in October.

“I’ve really enjoyed today, it’s been absolutely brilliant. It was a bit hit or miss as to whether my injury would hold up and if it didn’t I’d have to pull out, but it held and I was just really happy with everything.”

Down to the wire

Both the 30-34 and 40-44 age groups were won by smaller margins as Chorley Marlins’ David Jackson and South Bedfordshire’s Peter Gleed won gold.

Jackson won the 30-34 national title in 43:18, with Bristol Henleaze’s John Wood only 27 seconds behind to win silver.

Gleed clocked 43:08 to win the 40-44 age group, 35 seconds ahead of Team Anglia’s Alexander Bevis.

Rochdale’s Matthew Lees and Loughborough’s Stuart Sharp won bronze in the respective races.

BUCS swimmer Sean Husband won gold in the 18-24 age group on his debut at the competition, clocking 50:10.

The 65-69 age group was won by D.T.S swimmer John Ryan (53:26), ahead of East Leeds’ Bruce Goldberg (59:23) and South Bedfordshire’s (1:02:34).

Sudbury’s Stuart Mclellan won the 70-74 title in 56:06, while Royal Navy’s Peter Stephens claimed silver.

Gloucester Masters’ Tony Cherrington was a comfortably winner in the 75-79 age group, finishing in an impressive 56:07.

Just 19 seconds separated silver and bronze medallists Graham Ling (Hythe) and Michael Read (Brighton).

Meanwhile, Eastbourne’s David Cumming won the 80-84 title in 1:06:47 – a time which would have been enough for silver in the two age groups below him.

Photo: Will Johnston Photography

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