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British Championships/ Edinburgh International Swim Meet 2018

Poole Swimming Clubs contingent of 5 swimmers will be travelling up separately across the week to the British Champs held in-conjunction with the Edinburgh International Meet. The first three athletes to arrive would be Jacob, Jasmine and Oli who met with coach Barry and sports massage therapist Corinne in Edinburgh on Tuesday.  Matt would be coming up on Thursday and Kelvin on Saturday a day before their races.  Or so, that was meant to be the script before storm Emma put her frosty hands in the mix….

Tuesday - 2 days prior to meet

The Tuesday gang arrived with-out hassle, with the boys completing a light swim and Jasmine following her mobility regime.  The training time in the prestigious Commonwealth Pool was well timed being super quiet sharing with just a few members of public.  Of course, this left the ever-vain teenager’s plenty of opportunity to take at least 1000 selfies!     The rest of Tuesday was about exploring the venue and becoming acclimatized to the friendly people and city of Edinburgh.

Wednesday - 1 day to go

Wednesday saw Oli, Jasmine and Jacob complete a midday training session, followed by discussion on the final preparations for each day.  Each athlete had different aims for the week.  Jacob would be un-tapered and indeed training daily whilst competing in preparation for the bigger competition of the Commonwealth Games.  Still he had technical and timing goals to address, so his smartness in achieving this would be his measurement of success.  Jasmine had her sites on ranking herself as one of the top juniors to put her-self in contention of the European Junior team.  Then Oli as a younger junior would be setting his sights on establishing himself as one of the fastest 15 year olds (16 age at end of year) in the 15-18-year-old Junior category, knowing some fast swims in Edinburgh may qualify him for the South West team heading to Bulgaria in July.

Literally just after the training session, storm Emma released her fury and the blizzard like conditions kicked in.  The center staff, local to the pool pulled together and closed the center for all but the athletes to train. (Indeed, the co-ordination of how a small team of Edinburgh International Leisure Centre staff kept this competition going working until early hours of the morning preparing, when some couldn’t come in, should be offered huge praise and gratitude). 

The walk back to the hotel via Edinburgh centre was a perfect time to explore the sights and have some fun discovering who had the best snowball aim, whilst totting up how many times Barry could and would fall over.  Venturing out in the evening a meal at Zizi’s with some rather hot chilies warmed the team up leaving an early night in preparation for competition day.


Thursday Day 1

The competition was split between fastest heats in the morning (highest seeds) and the next batch of heats in the afternoon.  Athletes could qualify from each session for the finals session in the evening.  Thursdays morning heats started with Jasmine in the 100m Fly and Jacob in the 200m Fly.

Jasmine produced a strong heat swim, earning a spot in the Junior Final, pending afternoon results.  Jasmine left the pool confident with where improvements could be made with both preparation and racing for the evening.  Jacob started strong in his 200m, but the fatigue effect of training hit in on the back 100m, still three out of four walls on the turn had been timed better.  Jacob qualified first for the B final with another opportunity to improve skills and pacing.

Both athletes carried out their swim downs, with Jacob having some recovery magic worked by Corinne.  

Afternoon Heats

Oli F had worked on starts and the underwater first 15m section over the last two days (a rare opportunity with a competitive ledge), so was feeling confident going into the 50m Back.  Having prepared well for the race Oli jumped in and nailed his start, which continued into improved underwater carrying speed through the break out into his first his stroke, where the rate just continued to increase into the finish touching first in 27.98, his first time under 28 and his pre-race PB mark of 28.42 smashed.  His time was the 3rd fastest in the 16-year-old mark.

Evening Finals

Jasmine qualified 3rd for the Junior Final.  With her determined spirit Jasmine took the race out turning in first position just ahead of the opposition, the underwater work was good, then it was a three-way battle to the finish, stroke by stroke in the last 5m Jasmine took second place stepping up by 0.6 of a second.  A good finish to the day.

Jacob took his final out strong turning 1st at 50m and by 100m this had dropped to second place, as the Irish swimmer Brendan Hyland in the outside lane was smoking the rest of the field.  With a challenging 3rd 50m Jacob had dropped to 4th, but battled down the last 50m with sheer determination and passed the swimmers flanking him on both sides in the battle of the middle of the pool.  He won the battle in the middle with an impressive 31 split and finished second overall behind Hyland.  A 2.01 was Jacob’s best ‘in training’ as he prepares for Australia, so pleasing results.  The time was a Edinburgh Meet Junior record and the fastest junior time.

Resilience and Day 2

With most food places now shut, including previsouly made bookings, the team luckily found a place open that did some brilliantly healthy Burrito's!

Showing how resilient Poole Swimming Club members are, courageously the Collins family who had their flight cancelled decided to make the journey by car through horrendous conditions and made it within 20miles of Edinburgh at 7pm before the snow halted them. 

Matt races in the 50m Fly on Friday, along with Jacob.  Jasmine has 50m Free and Oli the 100m Back.