Reaching a milestone birthday can sometimes be advantageous, and BSSC Masters swimmer and Club President, Sally Winter recently proved that point. January 1st saw Sally move up into the 60-64 years Masters age group, and at her first 2020 Long Course (50m pool) competition in Crawley on the weekend of 18/19th January she was in record smashing form. First up was the 100m Free where she took Gold in a British Masters record time of 1:08.51, more than a second inside the existing British record and only 0.3 seconds outside the European record. On Sunday she went one better in the 200m Free, smashing the British Masters record by 2.5 seconds and taking the European Masters record by 1 second, in a time of 2:30.78. Focus for this season now turns to the British Nationals in April and the European Masters Championships in June. Good luck Sally!
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!
BSSC Masters star, Lizzie Bellinger, had a golden time at the Swim Wales Masters Long Course (50m) Championships in Swansea on 2-3 March 2019. Swimming in the 40-44 year age group, she kicked off an impressive weekend with the 200m Individual Medley, dominating the field to take Gold and an East Region Long Course record, with her 2nd best ever time of 2:39.17. She outclassed the field twice more with Gold in the 50m Fly (30.22), followed by Gold in the 100m Freestyle, gaining another East Region LC record and 2nd best ever time of 1:04.89!
Day Two saw Lizzie become the fastest woman in the pool in the 100m Butterfly in a time of 1:06.57, over 11 seconds faster than second place in her age category, nearly 4 seconds faster than the winner of the 18-24 year old age group, and just 0.17 seconds off her 2018 British record. Congratulations on a superb weekend of national swimming!
To add to her amazing achievements, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) recently published the 2018 Masters WORLD Top 10 Swimming Rankings, and Lizzie is ranked 2nd in the world for Long Course 100m Fly (40-44 age group) with her British record of 01:06.40 and 5th for 50m & 200m Fly, whilst for Short Course (25m pool) she is 5th for 50m & 100m Fly and 6th for 200m Fly. Outstanding performance!
Focus now turns to the ITU World Multi Sports Championships at the start of May where she will be competing in the Aquathlon (1,000m swim followed by 5km run). Good luck Lizzie!
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.
Four swimmers from Bishops Stortford swimming club have just returned from a very successful trip to the world masters in Budapest. Over 15,000 athletes
took part in the 2 week event staged on the banks of the Danube in the newly built Duna pool.
The star of the show was Lizzie Bellinger, swimming in the 35-39 year age group she achieved two bronzes and a Fifth. The 3rd place medals where for the 50 and the 100 butterfly with times of 29.71 and 1.06.70 respectively. Lizzie swam a 2.38.92 on the gruelling 200m fly. The winner of all three races was the American Noriko Inada a former Olympian.
Sally Winter, made her return to competition after a serious bike accident, she swam the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events in the 55/59 age group. She finished 7th on both the 100 and 200 free (1.07.79 and 2.29.28) and 10th in the 50 free (31.59). All were seasons best times.
Barry Chandler was competing in his last swim for the club for a while as heheads off for a ‘gap year’ to Spain and south America. In the 60-64 age group he was placed 8th in the 50 Fly in a time of 30.85 and 30th in the 50 freestyle in a time of 29.63, he was 37th in the 100 freestyle (1.10.34)
Ashley Meerloo (55-59) was competing in his first World event and managed personal best masters times on all his events. He finished 22nd in the 100 freestyle in a time of 1.04.25, he was 11th in the 50m fly in 30.08 and 19th in the 50 free in 28.57. In his 100 fly Ashley managed to break the 1.10.00 barrier and finished 12th in 1.09.97.