British Summer Champs 2019 - Day 1

Tom Dowden

After two conscientious days of training and familiarization at the Tollcross venue the trio of lads racing on day one was raring to go.  They were all up in the 50m Backstroke Heats.

With ever growing confidence at the bigger meets the boys started their pre-race planning with a wake up walk around various parts of Glasgow and arrived at the pool a couple of hours before their heats were due to start.

Morning Heats

Robbie was up first in heat 8 and then Alex and Oli in the outside lanes of heat 12.

Robbie had a great start and blasted down the first 35, he lost some power on the last 10m, but the time of 27.39 was a solid PB and qualified him 3rd for the evenings final.  After finishing 24th in this event last year a great improvement.  After watching his race on video a dozen or so times with his coach, he knew what he could work on to improve for the final.

Alex set off with a decent underwater section from the start and was hitting a high stroke rate by 25m amrk and kept strong in to the final 10m to touch under 27 seconds for the first time earning a 26.87.  Over the far side of the pool, Oli had held a consistent stroke rate and hit smack bang on his PB in 26.93.  The boys had qualified 5th and 7th for the evening final.   After watching their races back and finding a couple of areas to improves is was time for a rest and to follow preparations into this evenings final.

This would be first time two athletes have been in the same final and shows the effectiveness of a training group working on similar events. 3 Heats, 3 Finals

In the early afternoon Abbie, Catherine, Ella, Izzy, Teagan and Thea jumped in for a training session

Evening Finals

With the boy’s all professionally following their planned countdown into the race the time to perform quickly came around.

Robbie was up first.  His start, although technically strong was not as smooth as the heat and he slightly caught his arm on the break out (where the body surfaces) from starting it to early and deep, however he kept his cool, built into his stroke and maintained his power in the latter part of the race.  In fact, a line of six athletes came into the wall together and it was impossible to see who gained the touch.  After what seemed like an eternity waiting for the scoreboard to show the results Robbie’s position had been confirmed as third in 27.18, another step of his PB and just 0.18 behind the winner.  His first National Medal.

Two finals later with Alex in lane 2 and Oli in lane 1, the Poole pair jumped into the water and were ready to battle down the length.  Oli had practiced some areas around the start and Alex some areas around the first 15m during the warm up. 

The pair were stroke for stroke from the outset and both had improved what they set out to in the first part of the race leaning towards a stronger finish. In what seemed like another wait for eternity in seeing what the final positions where it was impossible to see who gained the touch, it was confirmed that both boys had stepped up, both earned personal bests, with Alex finishing 4th in 26.61 and Oli 5th in 26.65.   Both boys were the bottom end of a double age bracket and would have been 2nd and 3rd in thier age.

It can often be easy to be excited on Day 1, the results of three swims, three finals, three step ups and three personal bests shows a good start.  But a meet like this is about performing over every day.  So, the athletes were advised to get early nights and keep doing their job professionally with preparation for tomorrows events.

A busier days 2 sees Abbie in the 200m Breast, Ella in the 50m Fly, Olie, Alex and Robbie in 100m Back and Thea on 800m Free.