Shields proves a master of the pool in setting new British record

Ponds Forge was the setting for the British Masters Swimming Championships, which saw Borough of Kirklees well represented.
Ponds Forge was the setting for the British Masters Swimming Championships, which saw Borough of Kirklees well represented.

Some of the UK’s best masters swimmers converged on Ponds Forge in Sheffield to compete in the recent National Championships.

Six swimmers from Borough of Kirklees Swimming Club took part and produced some fantastic performances.

Sally Shields continues to produce excellent displays as she claimed gold medals in the 60 to 64 years 100 metre and 50 metre breaststroke.

Shields also broke her own British Record by 39 seconds in the 50 metre event.

She recorded a time of 1.31.95 in winning the 100 metre breaststroke, while her time of 39.69 broke the old 50 metre British record of 40.08.

Rachel Whitwell won a gold medal in the 200m breaststroke and claimed silver medals in the 100m and 200m individual medley.

She also managed to set three new Borough of Kirklees masters records – one of which had stood since 1979.

Whitwell set a new BOK record of 2.36.17 in her second place finish in the 200m individual medley, breaking the old record of 2.39.79 set in 2001 by Vicky Watson.

Whitwell broke her own BOK record of 32.3 in finishing fourth in the 50m backstroke with a time of 32.03.

The third record came in winning the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2.52.19, breaking her old record of 2.56.73 set earlier this year.

Whitwell’s silver medal in the 100m individual medley came in a time of 1.10.03

Stephen Bottomley had a fantastic year in open water swimming with a top 10 finish at the Great North Swim which saw 8,000 competitors take part.

Bottomley turned his hand to the National masters event and narrowly missed out on a bronze medal by 0.06 seconds finishing fourth in the 200m backstroke.

Bottomley also managed to reset two of his BOK Master records from a year ago.

He recorded a time of 2.33.19 in the 50 to 54 years 200m backstroke.

He went on to finish 10th in the 400m freestyle with a time of 4.54.68.

His time of 2.34.36 in the 200m individual medley, broke his own previous record of 2.37.53 on his way to a seventh place finish, while he also broke his previous best of 3.03.16 with a time of 2.59.18 in finishing seventh in the 200 metres breaststroke.

Bottomley also finished sixth in the 800m freestyle in a time of 10.17.43

Borough of Kirklees youngest member, Ben Johnson, managed a credible 10th and 15th positions in his events

Johnson finished 10th in the 25 to 29 years 100m breaststroke in a time of 1.12.66 and was 15th in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 32.41

Kevan Brown is one of the longest serving swimmers of the Borough of Kirklees Masters Swim squad and he again managed to swim faster than last year, to break his own club record in the 100m event.

Brown finished with two fifth places and a sixth in his breaststroke events and a credible 12th in the 50m freestyle.

Brown broke his previous best time of 1.19.56 in the 55 to 59 years 100m breaststroke with a time of 1.19.26.

He also finished 12th 50m freestyle in 29.72, sixth in the 50m breaststroke in 35.89 and fifth in the 200m breaststroke in 2.59.21.

Wendy Offord won a bronze medal in the 60 to 64 years 50 metres backstroke in a time of 40.95.

She also narrowly missed out on another medal when she finished fourth in the 50m freestyle with a time of 34.65.