Top at Dutch National Championships

Top at Dutch National Championships

On the 19th June 2014 Niamh Hofland of the RWS Swimming Club took the short trip to Holland to attend the Dutch National Championships held in Amsterdam. Niamh's first race on Day 1 was the 400m Freestyle event, where Niamh started well by setting a new Championship Record in 4:42.00, beating the previous record by 5.3 seconds and claiming her first Gold medal of the Championships. 

Day 2 was the 100m Butterfly and 200m Backstroke. On the 100m Butterfly Niamh claimed her 9th National Qualifying Time for the English Nationals with a time of 1:11.05, which also gave her the Silver medal. In the afternoon it was the turn of the 200m Backstroke in which she clinched the Gold medal with a time of 2:31.87.

Day 3 during the morning session it was time for the 100m Backstroke. Niamh achieved a new PB with a time of 1:11.78, which also gave her the Bronze medal in a race where the colour of the medals was decided in a very close finish. Later that morning she competed in the 200m Breaststroke, winning the Silver medal in a time of 2:56.25.

The afternoon saw the battle in the 200m Freestyle event where Niamh swam a 1.4 second PB setting a time of 2:15.06 to claim another Gold medal.

Day 4 was the last day and now the parents are getting tired, not so the swimmers. The atmosphere was still great.

On the walk from the hotel to the pool Niamh had set her eyes on the 200m Individual Medley Dutch National Record for the 12 year age group and getting her 10th NQT in the 100m Freestyle. But first it was the turn of the 100m Breaststroke where Niamh finished 7th with a time of 1:26.10.

A couple of hours later that morning it was time for the 200m Individual Medley. Niamh focused herself on the blocks, and off she went. After the first 100m it was a two horse race, both swimmers turning at the same time to start the 50m Breaststroke. At the end of the breaststroke length Niamh was slightly ahead going into the final 50m. Niamh touched with a new PB beating the previous record by 0.14s and setting a new Dutch National Record for the 12 year age group at 2:30.80, receiving the Gold medal and the additional bonus of a nice small bouquet of flowers.

During lunch Niamh ponders on the 100m Freestyle and on the chance to achieve her 10th NQT. Her manner at the starting blocks showed that she was focused and ready to race, and at the end of the race Niamh finished in 7th position but she had managed to gain her 10th NQT by 0.07s, which was an excellent result after 4 days of solid racing.

Her results during the 4 days of competition also made her finish as Top Girl in the 12 year age group.

All in all she enjoyed the experience of competing in the Dutch National Junior and Youth Championships.

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