The Swim England Masters National Championships is the highlight of the national Masters short course calendar, with over 1000 competitors fighting it out to be crowned 2019 champions. This year it took place in Sheffield on 25-27 October and five Bishop’s Stortford Swimming Club Masters qualified (though unfortunately Ashley Meerloo and Helen Shingler could not attend).
Lizzie Bellinger has competed in the 50m and 100m butterfly at the National Masters Short Course Championships every year since 2009 and has won a medal on each occasion, the majority of those being gold. This year was no exception! On Day 1 Lizzie stormed to Gold in the 100m butterfly (40-44 Yrs Age Group) in a time of 1:05.7, only 0.4 secs off her own British record time! She then grabbed Bronze in the 400m IM, with a 10 second East Region record. Day 2 saw her continuing her winning ways, taking Gold in 29.54 in the 50m butterfly in another East Region record and Silver in the 200m IM. Lizzie continued her butterfly domination on the final day with Gold in the 200m fly.
Sally Winter’s National campaign started well with a Silver in the 200m freestyle (55-59 Yrs) in a massive seasons best time of 2:24.2. This time is 6 seconds under the 60-64yrs British record, which Sally will be aiming to break come January 2020. Sally, a previous European record holder in the event, will also be aiming to break the current 60-64 years European record time of 2.28 in the new year. Day 2 dawned with another Silver being added to her collection, this time in the 100m freestyle. Her time of 1:06.75 is half a second under the 60-64 age group European record, which Sally will once again be targeting from January 2020. In her final race of the day she came a great 8th in the 50m freestyle.
Former British butterfly record holder Barry Chandler kicked off with a fabulous 5th in the 200m freestyle (60-64 Yrs). Day 2 was a busy day, with 2 races back to back in the morning. He started with a Silver in the 100m freestyle, narrowly missing gold by 0.08 secs, and after catching his breath, got straight back into the pool to come away with a fantastic bronze medal in the 60-64 50m fly, just 0.3 secs off the gold medal winning time! In the afternoon, Barry was on fire winning Gold in the 50m freestyle by nearly a second!
All of our Masters continue to inspire the next generations, but a huge congratulations must go to Lizzie, Sally and Barry for their outstanding performances!