Ward wins double gold on opening night in SheffieldJuly 26, 2016
City of Leeds’ Tia Ward landed double gold on the opening night of the 2016 British Summer Championships in Sheffield.
Competing at her first British Summer Champs, the 13-year old kicked off her evening with a 0.03 second victory in the 200m Freestyle.
And she completed a memorable night with gold in the 13/14 Yrs 400m IM, also taking the touch by less than 0.5 seconds.
— City of Leeds SC (@CoLeedsSC) July 26, 2016
Ward is completing in her first British Summer Championships, having been too young to enter 12 months ago.
Instead, the talented teenager attended the ASA National Summer Meet, helping herself to six golds and two silvers in the 12/13 Yrs age group.
But the Leeds teenager proved she is more than ready for the step up in class, toughing out results in two competitive finals.
Millfield’s Rachel Anderson, who won bronze in the same age group last year, took the 200m Free final out, turning first on 1:33.15 at 150m.
But Ward, who turned on 1:34.17, stormed back in the final length to take the touch in 2:05.12, beating her PB 2:06.43 from the heats. Anderson emerged with plenty of credit in second, her 2:05.15 also a lifetime best.
Ward holds off fast-finishing Hofland in 400m IM
It was the opposite story in the 400m IM final with Ward leading throughout from the middle lane.
But when a four-second advantage at the 200m mark became a two second lead with 50m to go, the final length became a desperate sprint to the wall.
Royal Wolverhampton School’s Niamh Hofland pushed Ward the closest, ultimately taking silver on a PB 4:56.95 to Ward’s PB 4:56.62.
EJ medallists win 400m IM titles
Three of England’s European Junior medallists finished on top in the other age groups of the 400m IM.
Newcastle Emily Large, who won 200m Fly gold in Hungary last month, claimed the 15 Yrs title, stopping the clock on 4:49.16
Last year’s 15 Yrs champion Taz Pugh repeated the feat in the 16 Yrs age group. The Ellesmere College Titans swimmer, who won 200m Back gold at the European Juniors, touched in 4:51.98.
Meanwhile, Loughborough University’s Abbie Wood won the 17/18 Yrs title. The 17-year old, who won bronze in the same event in Hungary, clocked 4:42.20 to touch ahead of Nova Centurion’s world junior champion Rosie Rudin on 4:44.31.
Candice Hall set a PB 4:45.82 to win the senior title and land City of Leicester’s second gold of the night after William Bell’s victory in the 13/14 Yrs 400m Free.
- Click here to view results from the 2016 British Summer Championships in Sheffield.