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West Norfolk Swimming Club members qualify for Open Water National Championships

Five West Norfolk Swimming Club members have qualified for next week’s Open Water National Championships.

The club had a record number of 19 entrants across the range of distances at Whitlingham Broad for the East Region Championships.

A long day of action served as both the County Championships for Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, as well as providing the qualifying opportunity for the Nationals.

Open water 4 (14454069)
Open water 4 (14454069)

West Norfolk Swimming Club open water coach Cheryl Rose said: “Nineteen is a fantastic number of competitors for our club.

“They all performed really well, drawing on the training they’ve been able to undertake thanks to our close relationship with King’s Lynn Triathlon Club, training with them at Saddlebow on Saturday mornings.

“Particular thanks must go to Jess Cunningham and Alistair Doig from the club for their support which is always above and beyond the call of duty.

Open water 2 (14454064)
Open water 2 (14454064)

“I’ll look forward to continuing on Saturdays for the rest of the summer, and welcoming new members to come and join us.”

The first event of the day was the 3km distance, where Harry Sharpe, 14, was placed third regionally, securing a place at the National event, and first in the county.

Meda Vitginyte, 15, was fifth and Robert Addis, also 15, was second in Norfolk.

Next up was the novices event, over 1km.

In the youngest age group, 11/12 yrs, Rhys Burrell took county silver and Jack Sharpe county bronze.

Over the same distance, Erica Charters (13/14) secured gold and the county trophy and Amelie Dockerty (13/14) took county bronze, as did Jack Drage (15/16) in his age group.

Open water 3 (14454067)
Open water 3 (14454067)

Six West Norfolk Swimming Club representatives competed in the third event, over 2km.

Josh Parker, 12, won gold in his age group in the county, and Olivia Skittrell, 12, took bronze.

In the 13 years age group, Esmie Kidman claimed second regionally, earning a place in the National Championships, and was first in the county.

Team mate Sophie Doig narrowly missed a medal place, finishing fourth.

Alice Page finished 5th in the county in the 15/16yrs age group while Kayleigh Venables (20/24yrs) finished third in the region and first in the county.

Open water 1 (14454062)
Open water 1 (14454062)

The last event of the day was the 5km race, seen as the swimming equivalent of a half marathon.

Sam Rose, 16, finished first regionally and for the county. Team mate Callum Stedman, 16, finished third in the region and second in the county.

Lucie Peck, 16, was third in the region and first in the county.

Jake Lammas (17/18yrs) took the county bronze medal, and Joe Read (17/18 yrs) was fourth in the region and second in the county.

The National event will take place on Monday, August 5, although the venue has yet to be confirmed.

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