Mount Kelly swimmers impress at European Junior Championships in Belgrade

MOUNT Kelly swimmers impressed for Great Britain at the 2023 European Junior Swimming Championships in Belgrade.

Matthew Ward, Blythe Kinsman and Erin Little all returned from Serbia with medals, while Vadim Bosc was also a semi-finalist.

Ward, who will represent Scotland at next month’s Commonwealth Youth Games, was Great Britain’s most successful swimmer at the championships with four medals.

He claimed individual bronze medals in the 50m backstroke (25.16), the 100m backstroke (54.61) and 200m IM (2:01.17) and was part of the GB mixed 4x100m medley relay team that won the silver medal behind Denmark.

Ward, who also set new British age group backstroke records, described his success as a ‘dream come true’ and he was particularly pleased with his 200m IM medal.

“It’s an amazing feeling to finally have achieved some stuff in that event,” he said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to race it and I’m happy that I made the decision to do it.

“There’s still a few things to work on, but it just feels like now I can take it up another level.

“Next year’s an Olympic year, so with that in mind it’s very exciting.”

Kinsman was one of the younger members of the GB team and she won an individual silver in the 50m backstroke (28.41) and just missed out on another medal in the 100m, finishing fourth (1:01.52).

“When I saw the time come up on the board, I was like ‘oh my gosh, is that real?,” said Kinsman after her silver medal. “I was taken aback. To step up on a big stage like this is really important.

“It gives me a lot of confidence going into bigger competitions in the future.”

Little, who like Kinsman will be part of England’s team at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago next month, won a bronze medal as part of the Great Britain’s women’s 4x100m team. She was also a semi-finalist in the highly-competitive 100m freestyle event.

Bosc made the semi-finals of the 200m breaststroke for Great Britain.

Mount Kelly actually had five swimmers competing at the championships as Moritz Baumgartner represented Austria and came 13th in the 400m IM.

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