Young swimmers head to world championships

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Border Counties)

Ellesmere College swimmers Freya Anderson and Conor Ferguson have qualified for the World Senior Championships.

Anderson won her first British title with an impressive victory in the 100m Freestyle at the British Swimming Championships held in Sheffield. She came through an enthralling battle to land gold in a personal best of 54.35 seconds, beating Bath University’s defending champion Siobhan-Marie O’Connor by 0.02 seconds on day four of the competition.

She said: “It feels crazy. I didn’t expect to be a British champion, especially swimming in that field. I had my head down and was not focusing on anyone else, only to get to the wall first.”

The 16-year-old beat Olympic swimmer Fran Halsall’s British age record of 54.80 set 10 years ago for the second time that day after she beat it in the morning’s heat with a time of 54.40. The time puts her at the top of the world rankings for 16-year-olds where she is also in first place in the 50 fly and 50 freestyle.

n In the final individual race of the evening at the Irish Open Swimming Championships, Ferguson set a new Irish record of 25.24 in the 50m backstroke to take gold and book his place at the World Championships to be held in Budapest this summer.

The 17-year-old also became the first Irishman to break the two-minute mark in the 200m backstroke which completed a hat-trick of titles.

Ellesmere Titans swimming coach Alan Bircher said: “I’ve come to expect the unexpected when it comes to this group of amazing swimmers. I couldn’t be prouder of what every single swimmer has achieved already this season but we now have a very busy summer ahead and the expectation will raise again.”

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