Amelia swims to gold and silver at Olympic pool

PUBLISHED: 14:50 11 February 2015

Amelia Chappell.

Amelia Chappell.


Three Clevedon Swimming Club members swam at the ASA Zonal Championships at the London Aquatic Centre.

CLEVEDON Swimming Club were represented by three swimmers at the ASA Zonal Championships held at the London Aquatic Centre, home of the London 2012 Olympic aquatic events.

Qualification for this event was tough with only the best swimmers from the three southern regions of the UK making it to the event. Amelia Chappell, George Leaman and Callum Greenwood qualified for 13 events between them and travelled with head coach Pete Bowen.

Callum, aged 17, was first to swim with two events in the first session. A strong swim in the 50m freestyle got rid of the nerves. His next event, the 100m backstroke, saw Callum drifting towards the lane rope and a clash interrupted his rhythm.

Two further swims in the second session were close to his personal best times in the 200m IM and the 50m fly. A further encounter with the lane rope the next day in the 50m backstroke again affected his swim.

In his last event of the weekend, the 200m backstroke, a good swim in the heat saw Callum make the final. He put in a tremendous swim, holding bronze medal place until the final 50m where he was just overhauled and slipped into fourth, but with a personal best time.

George (15), had two events, both on the second day. Supporting his team-mates on the first day, he took advantage of warm-ups to get used to the pool and was ready for the gruelling 400m IM.

A strong swim, knocking almost a second off his previous best, saw George take fifth place in a talented field. Another personal best in the 200m backstroke of over two seconds ended a successful campaign for George.

Amelia (14), had a busy programme with five events. Recovering from illness in the lead up to the event, she put in a strong swim in her first event, the 200m butterfly, to qualify for the final and a determined swim in the final saw her come away with a silver medal.

In the 50m butterfly in the afternoon, a mis-timed finish meant she just missed out on a final slot. Spurred on, however, Amelia approached the second day with renewed vigour.

Qualifying comfortably for the final of the 100m butterfly, Amelia started the first 50m of the final strongly with three in contention for gold. A great turn and transition saw her surface first and gradually pull away in the final 50m to touch first and take top spot on the podium.

Meanwhile, the future stars of Clevedon were in action at Keynsham in the first round of the Mini Series. With lanes drawn, the duel in the pool commenced against Bishopsworth, Bristol Central, Severnside Tritons, Soundwell, and Southwold.

Soundwell started the gala strongly winning the first event, and dominated the competition throughout the afternoon.

Clevedon’s first win for maximum points was gained by 12-year-old Amelia Hancock, in the girls’ 13 and under 50m freestyle. Despite this much-needed boost in points and a great deal of support from the team, further wins proved difficult to achieve.

By halfway Clevedon had slipped down to fourth place, with just 10 points separating them and second place Southwold. Undeterred, the 13 & under girls’ medley team of Francesca Coveney, Annabel Earnshaw, Tabitha Pollard and Amelia, powered on to touch first and gain a further win for the team.

Swimming in their first Mini Series for Clevedon were Anna Papalouca, Sam Streeter and James Collins. Sam secured a new best time in the boy’s 10 and under 25m freestyle, and in the 13 and under boy’s 50m breaststroke, James smashed his previous time by knocking off 3.35 seconds.

Other swimmers achieving new personal bests were Annabel Earnshaw, Freya Elliot, Megan Fry, Addy Ledward, Tabitha Pollard, Toby Foster, Woody Hewistson and Luke Snell.

The final results showed Clevedon finishing in fifth place overall, just six points behind second-placed Bristol Central.

Photos attached: Amelia Chappell gold podium, George Leaman in 400m IM.

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