Rachel triumphs on international debut

Rachel Anderson.

Rachel Anderson. - Credit: Archant

Weston Swimming Club’s Rachel Anderson made a winning start to her international career at a gala in Italy.

WESTON Swimming Club’s Rachel Anderson returned from Lignano, Italy, having won three medals representing Great Britain at the Energy Standard Four Nations Cup.

Rachel was one of just five 13-year-old girls selected in the 40-strong national team chosen to battle it out against some of the best European juniors in the swimming world.

The team - invited to compete as part of the English Programmes phase 3 talent development for swimming, proved themselves worthy competitors as they held their own in individual and team events against Italy, Germany and the Energy Standard Club of Moscow, finishing second overall.

In her four individual events, Rachel won bronze in the 200m backstroke in a time of 2.21.89 that places her eighth in the UK rankings in the combined 13/14 year age group (2nd of the 13-year-olds) for British Summer Championships in Sheffield in July/August.

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She leapt to fifth in the UK combined rankings in the 50m backstroke with a lifetime best swim of 31.60 to finish the event sixth. In the 100m backstroke event, a personal best time of 1.06.24 secured fifth place, but lifted Rachel to sixth fastest in the 13/14 rankings and fastest of all 13-year-olds in the UK.

In her final event, the 200m individual medley, her sixth-placed swim of 2.25.89 consolidated her place of eighth in the UK combined rankings, where she remains the fastest 13-year-old in the UK.

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In her two relay events, Rachel swam the final leg in both the 4x100m medley and the 4x100m freestyle, swimming freestyle in both, ducking under the magic 60 second mark for the first time ever to bring the GB quartet home to two silver medals.

Rachel rejoins her talented Weston 11 to 14-year-old team mates this weekend at Hengrove to compete in the ASA South West Regional Championships.

These swimmers have all drawn inspiration from the outstanding successes of their senior counterparts at the Youth Regional Championships at Plymouth. The club roll call for that event was Marcus Gardiner, Evan King, Ollie Elliott, Chloe Knight, Will Daniel, James King, Immy Moroney, Holly Richards and Megan Richards.

This season marks yet another record breaking one for North Somerset’s premier swimming club, with a record number of swimmers achieving the regional qualifying standard to compete against the best swimmers in Gloucestershire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

The depth of talent at the club does not end there. The club’s junior squad triumphed in a development gala at Sherborne against Frome and A and B teams from Yeovil, while its Learn to Swim section goes from strength to strength, teaching the stars of tomorrow in small groups with hugely dedicated, motivated, qualified teachers, supported by members of the club’s Young Volunteers Programme.

To find out more about the club, email head swimming coach Rachel Aldington headcoach@weston-super-mare-swimming-club.co.uk or for Learn to Swim, email Charlotte Bradley ltswsmsc@hotmail.co.uk.

For the successful water polo section and masters swimming, email Mike Coles secretary@weston-super-mare-swimming-club.co.uk

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