The Royal School Elite Swim Programme have been very busy over the past few weeks!
Matthew Richards has been in form to break numerous Welsh and British Records. Competing in the Swansea open meet at the start of December Matt raced the 200 Freestyle against GB senior swimmers Daniel Jervis and Daniel Jones, pushing them all the way. Matthew finished the meet with a new British Record taking down the old time of 1.53.34 set by Suleman Butt in 2012. Matthew went 1.52.32 in the heat and 1.51.29 in the final crushing the old time.
The final competition of the year saw RWS head up to Sheffield to race in the Winter National Championships which this year doubled as the Commonwealth Games trials (The Commonwealth Games in 2018 is hosted by the Gold Coast in Australia, Birmingham has recently been named as the host city for the games in 2022).
We had excellent swims throughout the meet despite it being a preparation meet for our athletes. Holly Shepherd showing great early season form on the 200 Individual Medley, advancing to the final to finish in a seasons best time. Matthew Harris implemented his hard work and technique development in training to lower his 100 & 200 Breastroke PB’s. On the 200 Butterfly Kane Murcott came with a goal of positive splits on the initial 100 & 150m to be in with a shot of a quick time, Kane finished in a seasons best swim but missing out on a final by one place. Alicia Dingle fresh on the back of her mock exams came and gave her all in both the races and also the training pool. This bodes well for the rest of the season. Matthew Richards once again showed his class in breaking the British Record for the 100 freestyle! amazing stuff and ending the week with quite a haul of medals and Gold medals winning numerous junior categories. Daniel Johnson was bang on his best times throughout the meet and now has a platform to improve through the New Year and beyond. Charley Jones raced hard and worked even harder on her skills during the competition with real success. Laura Hawkins set a seasons best in the 100 Breastroke also just missing out of a final but in a really good place to advance later in the season. Well done to all swimmers who competed.
Last but not least Dutch international Niamh Hofland was in action over in Holland at the Dutch equivalent winter meet. Niamh had an absolute cracker! In the 800 freestyle finishing in a time of 8.44 which was an excellent start to the meet. The next huge race came in the form of a 4.45 in the 400 Individual Medley which was again a great new PB and seasons best time ranking Niamh in the top 5 GB open swimmers. The final swim at the meet was the 200 freestyle relay which her team won and Niamh finishing in a 2.03 split. Congratulations smashed it!