Swimming stars of the future take on international talent in France

Swimming News

Four swimmers from the Swim England Performance Squad boosted their preparations for the end of season summer meets, competing against an international field at the French Open 2019.

Dan Cross, Emily Barclay, Jakob Goodman and James McFadzen all represented Swim England in Chartres, taking on almost 300 swimmers from a host of nations including France, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and Australia.

The Men’s 200m Individual Medley provided plenty of joy on the opening day, as Millfield swimmer Goodman finished third in the B final with a personal best time of 2:06.22, while McFadzen was sixth in the A final, touching the wall in 2:04.39.

Cross was second in the Men’s 50m and 100m Backstroke B finals, winning the two-man 200m Backstroke B final ahead of Poole Swimming Club’s Oliver Fairman.

In challenging weather conditions on the second day at the outdoor venue, Loughborough’s Barclay powered to a fourth place finish in the Women’s 50m Freestyle A final, with her time of 25.54s only 0.22 outside the podium places.

Grant Robins, head of talent for swimming at Swim England, said: “It is pleasing to see our swimmers embrace the international opportunity and hone their race skills prior to our summer meet in four weeks’ time.

“What I have seen over these last few days gives me encouragement that performances when it matters in the summer will be positive.”

Putting Poole on the map

Winchester City Penguins, Poole and Putteridge Swimming Club were also represented at the meet.

Poole’s Kayla van der Merwe claimed a bronze medal in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke.

Van der Merwe, who will represent Great Britain at the European Junior Championships and World Junior Championships, finished in 2:28.90 to take plenty of confidence into next month’s European meet in Kazan.

Meanwhile, van der Merwe’s team-mate, Jacob Peters, was fourth in the Men’s 100m Butterfly.

Peters’ time of 54.24 was almost two seconds shy of his personal best, but Frenchman Mehdy Metella proved untouchable regardless, with the Olympic silver medallist winning by more than two seconds.