Success for Stowmarket at British Summer Championships and A.S.A. National Championships.
British Summer Championships….
Two of Stowmarket’s finest 14 year old swimmers Manfred Battle and Lija Radziunaite have just returned from the British Summer and A.S.A National Championships in Sheffield having achieved some very impressive swims. Manfred started the first week of the British Championships in good form finishing 14th in the 100m Backstroke with a pb of 1.04.28. From then he went on to his favourite event, 100 Butterfly. Going into this event Manfred was ranked 11th, meaning he’d have to swim extremely well to qualify for the final, however Manfred stormed into the final with a pb time of 1.01.05 and then in the final he stepped up again with an impressive swim of 1.00.23 finishing in 5th Position, and a total pb of more than 2 seconds. To finish off the week Manfred swam in the 50m Butterfly in which his form produced a very similar result. Going into the event ranked 13th, Manfred swam another superb pb in both heat and final finishing in another amazing 5th position with a final time of 27.26.
Much credit must be given to Manfred as approximately 10 weeks ago he sustained a broken arm and subsequently he was unable to take part in the Regional Championships in May and his ability to train was obviously affected, therefore going into this Competition Manfred’s form was relatively unknown.
Lija,s first swim at the British Championships was in the 50m Backstroke, Lija ranked 19th overall, swam in the first heat with an entry time of 31.75, and she swam remarkably well, finishing in 30.20 secs, and qualifyling for a place in the final. In the final she was able to hold her nerve and reproduce a very impressive performance which placed her a creditable 4th position with a time of 30.44.
ASA National Championships….
Week 2 saw the English National Championships take place at the same venue, Ponds Forge at Sheffield. This week Manfred and Lija were joined by 13 year old Bethany Levett who qualified in the Multi classification Disability for the 50m and 100m Freestyle events as a S9 Swimmer. This was a huge occasion for Bethany in which she swam extremely well achieving pb’s in both of her swims. She swam a time of 43.34 for the 50m Freestyle, and 1.34.33 in the 100m Freestyle, gaining and enjoying the valuable experience of top level competition.
Manfred Battle maintained his form into the second week. He swam in the 50m Freestyle with a pb of 26.25 and the 50m Backstroke in a pb of 29.19 which earned him a commendable 8th Position in both finals.
Lija saved the best till last once returning to the pool at Sheffield still vibrant from her fantastic 4th position in the previous weeks competition. This time Lija was competing in the 100 Backstroke an event that her coach Sylvia Harrison had high hopes for, and quite rightly so, as despite Lija being ranked 6th going into the event she smashed her heat swim in a pb time of 1.07.25, which actually qualified her as the fastest swimmer going into the final. Lija then impressively stepped up even more and swam an absolutely amazing final, leading all the way to finish 1ST, in a new pb time of 1.06.09 winning herself a gold medal and winning Stowmarket Swimming club a National Champion