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Melbourne-Smith makes perfect start and a new GB record for Munn on day one

City of Liverpool’s Tyler Melbourne-Smith made the perfect start to the opening finals session of this year’s National Winter Championships.

The 17-year-old produced a dominant display in the Men’s 800m Freestyle to be awarded both the junior and open gold medals.

After opening up a commendable lead, Melbourne-Smith touched the wall in a time of 7:50.08.

City of Milton Keynes swimmer, Harry Wynne-Jones, also collected two medals after his time of 7:59.50 saw him pick up the junior silver and open bronze medals.

The open silver went to Swansea’s Nathan Hughes and the junior bronze was won by Stockport’s Reece Grady.

There was also a commemorative bronze medal awarded to SFA Canada’s Collyn Gagne.

In the Women’s event, it was an impressive performance from young City of Salford swimmer Amelie Blocksidge.

The 13-year-old chased down the race leaders to take second place overall, which secured her the open silver medal and junior gold.

Out in front was Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Freya Colbert, who took a comfortable victory with a time of 8:28.58, to be crowned the Women’s Open 800m Freestyle champion.

City of Birmingham’s Aimee Hood was the open bronze medal winner and taking the junior silver and bronze podium places were Wycombe’s Lucy Fox and Ruby Griffiths of Mount Kelly.

A new Junior British record

Bracknell swimmer Oliver Munn set a new British Junior record in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke event.

The 15-year-old may have been third to the wall in his race but the time of 28.18 saw him become the new British Junior record holder.

Swimming from the outside lane Munn shot off the blocks to improve his qualification time by 1.01.

It was Orion’s Karnell Nunes-Smith who set a new personal best time that saw him take victory in the Junior race and take the bronze Junior medal.

His new best time of 27.52 was exactly half a second faster than Skipton’s Rohan Smith who swam well for silver.

In the open race, it was Putteridge’s Lawrence Palmer who won the race to the wall ahead of both Greg Butler and Elliott Woodburn.

Palmer narrowly finished ahead of Team England 2022 Commonwealth Games medallist Butler in the splash and dash race by just 0.02 with a time of 26.92.

Milffield’s Woodburn was in the fight all the way to the line too but his time of 26.99 meant he had to settle for bronze in the open event.

Woodburn’s time however did mean he was the fastest junior so he takes home gold with Plymouth Leander’s Ronny Hallett taking junior silver in 27.95.

Double gold for City of Manchester

City of Manchester secured double gold in the Men’s Open and Junior 100m Butterfly events.

A strong swim from Jamie Ingram saw him earn the open gold medal in 50.31 and he was joined on the podium by his teammate, Reuben Rowbotham-Keating.

The 17-year-old touched the wall in 52.64 to firstly receive the open bronze medal, and then step up to the top of the podium to collect the junior gold.

Separating the pair in the open results was Bath University’s Joshua Gammon, who finished in 51.07.

The junior medals went to Nicholas Finch, who secured silver, and James Cleaver taking bronze.

Brown storms to victory

Loughborough University’s Charlie Brown stormed to victory in the Men’s 200m Backstroke final.

Brown asserted himself from the off going into a near two-second lead at the halfway stage.

He then controlled the race to set a time of 1:53.24 which was 1.63 ahead of his nearest competitor.

It was Mount Kelly’s Matthew Ward that won silver with Birmingham University’s Oliver Morgan winning a close race for bronze ahead of Poole’s Robbie Hemmings.

Ward’s time saw him win the Junior gold medal with Hemmings winning the junior silver and New Hall’s Jack Skelly bronze.

Taylor shows she’s one to watch

Torfaen Dolphins swimmer Theodora Taylor showed her potential as she won the Women’s Junior 100m Breaststroke final.

13-year-old Taylor won the race ahead of her more senior competitors in a time of 1:09.17. Despite her display, she fell short of a junior medal.

Millfield’s Lucy Buckingham won the dash to the wall between the three to secure silver in 1:10.39 with Plymouth Leander’s Claire Huellou just 0.08 behind as she won bronze.

In the open final, Bath University’s Jana Spinner was crowned champion setting an impressive time of 1:08.49.

She was closely followed by Pershore’s Hannah Woodcock who was the only other swimmer to break into the 1:09:00 barrier as she finished in 1:08.87.

Arguably it was 15-year-old Charlotte Hardy who was the most impressive swimmer in the race.

The young swimmer put in a stunning display to secure bronze in a time of 1:09.04.

Hardy’s time did however see her win the junior crown with Repton’s Hannah Bowley taking silver and Sevenoaks swimmer Aaliyah Richards the bronze.

Wood shows her class

Tokyo 2020 Olympian Abbie Wood showed her class in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley final.

Wood dominated an impressive field as she finished more than seven seconds clear of her nearest challenger to win gold in 2:05.49.

It was a Loughborough one-two as Freya Colbert, back in the pool after her earlier victory in the Women’s 800m Freestyle, won silver in the event.

She set a time of 2:12.82 just ahead of Millfield’s Evie Dilley who celebrated her invitation to the British World Class Programme with bronze in the open as well as the Junior title.

Nova Centurion’s Kate Morris was the junior silver medalist and City of Leicester swimmer Anna Farrow won bronze.

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