Future stars gain valuable experience at Ontario Junior International

A number of Britain’s best up and coming swimmers took on their counterparts from around the world at the Ontario Junior International (OJI) last weekend.

The OJI is an 18 and under junior meet which provides one of the last short course racing opportunities of the year, the event has featured the likes of Imogen Clark, Freya Anderson and Joe Litchfield in the past.

The squad featured a number of Swim England’s Youth Performance Squad members as the British team gained vital international experience ahead of 2023.

Swim England’s National Talent Officer Richard Blackshaw was Team Leader for British squad as he headed up a team of nine members of staff to support the swimmers throughout their time in Canada.

The team flew out on Wednesday and after acclimatising to the time difference they were able to train on Thursday before getting straight into racing on Friday morning ahead of a packed weekend of action.

Experience in Ontario will prepare the squad ahead of a packed summer of Junior International events which includes both the European Junior Championships and the Youth Commonwealth Games.

More than 30 medals won

Great Britain’s squad had a successful time inside the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

The squad came away with an incredible 36 medals between them during the three days of comeptition.

City of Manchester Aquatics swimmer Rueben Rowbotham-Keating was on top form as he claimed four individual medals throughout the weekend.

He won gold in the 200m Butterfly as well as two silvers (400m Individual Medley and 100m Butterfly) as well as a bronze in the 200m Individual Medley.

Matthew Ward matched his efforts with four individual medals of his own. He claimed the Men’s 50m Backstroke title as well as three silvers in an impressive weekend for the Mount Kelly swimmer.

He was the runner-up in all three of the 100m Backstroke, 50m Butterfly and the 200m Backstroke events.

Sevenoaks’ Eva Okaro came away with three medals of her own. She won the Women’s 50m Freestyle event with an impressive time of 24.81 and also picked up two silvers in both the 100m Freestyle and the 50m Butterfly.

After winning four medals at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in the summer Oscar Bilbao added two more silver and bronze in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke respectively.

The British team secured two one-two finishes in the distance events as City of Liverpool’s Tyler Melbourne-Smith won gold in both the 800m and 1500m Freestyle with Harry Wynne-Jones performing well to finish as the silver medallist in both events.

And Ashleigh Baillie won Women’s 200m Butterfly gold as a time of 2:10.17 whilst Pheobe Cooper also took home the Women’s 200m Individual Medley title.

There was also an individual medal each for Wycombe District’s Lucy Fox and Bath University’s Oscar Barlow.

Britain’s relay teams throughout the weekend also claimed an impressive seven medals.

You can find all the results from the OJI event here.

British Swimming’s 2022 Ontario Junior International squad

  • Emma Allatt-File (Guildford City)
  • Ashleigh Baillie (City of Sheffield)
  • Oscar Barlow (Bath University)
  • Charlotte Bianchi (City of Sheffield)
  • Oscar Bilbao (Hamilton Aquatics)
  • Vadim Bosc (Mount Kelly)
  • Kianna Coertze (Warrender Baths Club)
  • Mabli Collyer, Swansea Aquatics)
  • Pheobe Cooper (City of Sheffield)
  • Evan Davidson (Perth City Swim Club)
  • Sophie Davies (Millfield)
  • Jessica Dickinson (Swansea Aquatics)
  • Oscar Dodds (City of Leicester)
  • Kaden Edwards (City of Cardiff)
  • Max Elkin (Swansea Aquatics)
  • Lucy Fox (Wycombe District)
  • Libby Freeman (Northumberland and Durham)
  • Stefan Krawiec (East Lothian Swim Team)
  • Tyler Melbourne-Smith (City of Liverpool)
  • Callum Melville (Nova Centurion)
  • Eva Okaro (Sevenoaks)
  • Darcy Revitt (Guildford City)
  • Antonio Rodriguez (Swansea Aquatics)
  • Reuben Rowbotham-Keating (City of Manchester Aquatics)
  • Olivier Vedrenne (City of Norwich)
  • Matthew Ward (Mount Kelly)
  • Sophie Weston (Warrington Warriors)
  • Edward Marcal Whittles (Chelsea & Westminster)
  • Holly Widdows (Mount Kelly)
  • Elliot Woodburn (Millfield)
  • Harry Wynne-Jones (City of Milton Keynes)


  • Richard Blackshaw (Team Leader)
  • Marie Atkinson-Brian (Team Manager)
  • Kelly Newton (Physiotherapist)
  • John Adye (Coach)
  • Becki McGuire (Coach)
  • Lee Spindlow (Coach)
  • Claudia Clements (Coach)
  • Bruce Halloran (Coach)
  • Dale Francescou (Coach)