For many in the club
Natasha is known as a Butterfly and Backstroke swimmer. She is
however starting at the University of Leeds to study Neuroscience
this month (wow!) with the intention of moving over into Triathlon.
As a stepping stone towards this, she qualified in the summer to
represent British Triathlon's GB Agegroup squad in the ITU World
Aquathlon Championships held in Cozemul, Mexico (a 2.5K run
followed by a 1K swim and then another 2.5K run).
As preparation, Tony, who
had already given up his summer break to coach Susie for the
Paralympics, very kindly took on Natasha aswell to transfer her
from a 200m fly swimmer to a 1K Open Water swimmer instead.... in a
timescale of 1 month!
All the hard work paid off
and Natasha won her Agegroup to become the U20 World Champion. She
was actually the fastest GB athlete across all the Agegroups and
came 4th overall in her race which had 2 other Agegroups ranging
from 16-35yrs age. The competition was tough with strong teams from
Mexico, Brazil, USA, Australia, NZ and Canada to name but a
Natasha's swimming leg was
the fastest in her race and she came out of the swim in first place
(Thank you Tony!). The weather conditions favoured the home
athletes with temperatures over 35c and humidity over 90%, this
affected her second run (and subsequently, if anyone has seen the
elite men's race, the Brownlee brothers!) but Natasha had done what
she needed to do to come home comfortably in first
place. Her win means she
gains automatic qualification into next years World championships
which will take place in Rotterdam.
It proves hard work
pays off. Natasha has swum competitively since 9 years of age. She
has swum with us more or less twice a day 6 times a week ever since
then. She has put up with early morning and late night swims,
injuries, illnesses and more than her share of disappointment. On
the flip side, she has won National swimming medals and 2 World
titles in Aquathlon.
She says she loves her
club and will be eternally grateful for finding the best swimming
coach out there. She may now be up in Leeds but Beckenham will
always be her home club and we will be missed. However, we haven't
seen the end of Natasha yet .... She'll be back for