This weekend, two Bishop’s Stortford Masters swimmers headed to Ponds Forge in Sheffield for three days of swimming in one of the biggest events of the domestic Masters calendar, the 2018 Swim England Masters National Championships.
Sally Winter, (competing in the 55/59 Yrs Age Group) and Lizzie Bellinger (competing in the 40/44 Yrs Age Group for Out to Swim) were always tipped to do well in their specialist events, and they did not disappoint!
Lizzie’s campaign started well with a silver in the 200m IM (2:33.43) and her good form continued across her favoured butterfly events. Lizzie, who is the current British record holder for the 100m butterfly in the 40-44 yrs age category, dominated all three butterfly events with 3 Gold medal performances, smashing the fields to win the 50m Fly by 1 second (29.55), and both the 100m and 200m Fly by 3 seconds in times of 1:06.58 and 2:34.03 respectively. Lizzie does also currently hold British records in the 50m and 100m butterfly events in the age category below and she will be looking to target the 50m record in her new 40-44 age group category as the year progresses. She finished off three fabulous days of swimming with a gold in the 400m IM (5:33.53).
Sally, Bishop’s Stortford’s club president, kicked off with a fantastic bronze in the 100m IM (1:21.51). It was in the 200m freestyle though that Sally really showed her class. The current British record holder (age 55-59 yrs category), dominated the 200m Free to win the National title in a time of 2:24.9, beating her nearest competitor by over 10 seconds. Sally’s gold medal winning performance means that she maintains her 100% unbeaten record in this event, having won the event on the five previous occasions that she has swum it since 2013 (she missed the 2016 Championships due to injury). She also showed that she is not far off her best over the sprint distances, with a very respectable 5th place finish in the 50m Free 5th (31.42).
The Masters squad will now look towards the ASA East Region Inter County Competition, to be held in Basildon on 17th November.