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West Norfolk swimmers rub shoulders with Olympians in Sheffield

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Five members from West Norfolk Swimming Club rubbed shoulders with Olympic swimmers at the Swim England National Winter Championships.

The cream of UK swimmers were on show as the club’s elite squad, under the guidance of head coach Sarah Vanderloo, returned to national level competition for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was held across a short course (25 metre) pool at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield – the traditional home of British Swimming – over three days last weekend.

Swimming group (53588132)
Swimming group (53588132)

Leah Wightman contested both the 200 metre backstroke and 200 metre butterfly events.

Wightman achieved a new personal best time in the latter to finish 37th of 59 competitors in the 16 years and under age group.

The women’s 50 and 100 metre breaststroke events saw both Molly Lee and Sarah O’Brien in action.

The pair finished 47th and 58th respectively from 173 entrants in the 50 metre event, with O’Brien achieving a new personal best time in the process.

Across the 100 metre distance, Lee swam a new personal best of 1 minute and 12.56 seconds to finish 56th in a 138 strong field, while O’Brien was placed 78th.

Freddie Laws qualified for all three of the men’s breaststroke events, and was placed 90th of 195 in the 50 metres, 64th of 136 in the 100 metres, and 35th of 129 in the 200 metres.

A busy weekend for Nathan Wells saw him contest seven events, achieving new personal bests across the board.

Highlights for Wells included 12th, 15th and 17th place finishes in the 400, 200 and 100 metre individual medley events respectively.

West Norfolk swimmers will be back in the pool this weekend when they contest the Arena League meeting at Thetford.

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