Aquatics

Plymouth Leander and Mount Kelly among the medals at National Winter Championships

PLYMOUTH Leander and Mount Kelly both returned with plenty of medals from the Swim England National Winter Championships in Sheffield.

Leander’s 18-year-old South African Olympian Aimee Canny led the way with a hat-trick of open titles to go with a silver medal, four club records and an African record.

The teenager, who is studying for her A-levels at Plymouth College, finished on top of the podium in the women’s 200m individual medley, 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle and took silver in the 50m freestyle.

She triumphed in the 200m freestyle in an African record time of 1:54.48, which was two seconds quicker than Millfield’s international Tamryn Van Selm, who took second.

Mount Kelly’s Megan Barnes reached the same open final, where she finished sixth in 1:58.92.

Fellow Mount Kelly swimmer Erin Little won the 16 and under 200m freestyle final in 1:59.17 to cap a hat-trick of junior titles to go with the 50m and 100m freestyle events. She also won a junior bronze in the 400m.

In the 100m freestyle, Canny clocked 53.17 to win, with 16-year-old Little seventh in the open final in 55.49.

Canny’s 100m freestyle gold came on the same night as she also took the 200m IM title in 2:10.19. She also clocked 24.92 to take second in the 50m freestyle event.

Mount Kelly’s Hazal Ozkan just missed out on a senior medal in 100m freestyle open final, finishing fourth in 2:14.15.

But Ozkan did win bronze medals in the open 100m and 200m breaststroke events. She clocked 1:07.33 in the 100m event won by Molly Renshaw and 2:23.62 in the 200m. She was also fifth in the 50m breaststroke.

Leander’s Adam Chillingworth became the men’s 200m breaststroke champion.  He won by an impressive three seconds, clocking 2:08.03. He also came fifth in the 100m breaststroke in 59.69.

Mount Kelly’s Leah Whittaker claim silver in the open 50m backstroke in 26.95 seconds. She also won the 16 and under 100m freestyle (55.35), the 50m freestyle (25.27) and also reach the open finals of the 50m butterfly and 100m backstroke.

Plymouth Leander’s Lana Broekhoven claimed bronze in the open 100m IM. She clocked 1:03.14, with Mount Kelly’s Hollie Widdows not far behind in 1:03.58 for fifth place.

Widdows won the 16 and under 50m butterfly title, clocking a quick 26.95 seconds, with Leander’s Alma Dahl second in 27.43 and Mount Kelly’s Blythe Kinsman.

Dahl also took bronze in the junior 100m butterfly final in 1:01.59. Plymouth team-mate Sophie Freeman, who was this week named again in the Swim England performance squad, came sixth in the senior final in 59.94, with Canny just behind in seventh.

Freeman just missed out on a medal in the open 200m butterfly, coming fourth in 2:11.94.

Mount Kelly’s Jacob Arman claimed a bronze medal in the open 100m IM, clocking 54.80 seconds. He also reached the senior 200m IM final.

Leander’s Jacob Whibley and Mount Kelly’s Matthew Ward were both multi-medallists in 16 and under finals.

Ward triumphed in the junior 100m IM in 56.29, won silver medals in the 50m backstroke (25.31) and 100m backstroke (54.28) and bronze in the 200m backstroke (1:58.45).

Whibley claimed silver medals in the 50m freestyle (23.04), 100m freestyle (49.74) and 200m freestyle (1:48.91).

Mount Kelly’s Riccardo Lucarelli secured a bronze in the 16 and under 200m butterfly (2:01.67).  There was also a junior bronze for team-mate Ruby Griffiths in the 800m. She clocked 8:52.55 minutes.

Plymouth Leander’s Tom Beeley and Beatrice Varley and Mount Kelly’s Calvin Fry also reached open finals.

Mount Kelly ended up with a record 23 medals in total. Dartmoor Darts also took their biggest squad to a national event.

Meanwhile, Ben Proud smashed his British 50m freestyle record for the second time in a fortnight to help Energy Standard win the 2021 International Swimming League title.

Proud has been in brilliant form throughout the ISL season and ended it on a fitting note by slicing 0.24 seconds off the time he set in the play-offs and touching the wall first in 20.40.

He then equalled his own British 50m butterfly record of 22.18 to record his second victory of finals weekend in Eindhoven before setting the fastest butterfly time once again in the decisive men’s 50m Skins race which ensured that Energy Standard would reclaim the title they won in 2019.

Elsewhere, Plymouth Leander coach Robin Armayan has been awarded a Mussabini Medal to coaching Reece Dunn to five medals, including three golds, at the Paralympics.

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