Production line working well through the ranks

Sport | Published:

GUERNSEY'S production line of exceptional swimming talent shows no signs of slowing.

GUERNSEY'S production line of exceptional swimming talent shows no signs of slowing. The usual suspects such as Gail Strobridge and Ben Lowndes took the majority of honours over the first three sessions of the Island Championships, but just as impressive were the performances of the up and coming youngsters, many competing in their first major gala.

'There is some great talent in Guernsey and we have seen some great swimming here,' said Beau Sejour Barracudas coach Alison Frankland.

'It is a nice event; it is about getting personal bests and at the end of the day, after all the hard work the swimmers have put in, they have improved and that's what matters. I am really pleased for them.'

Both the Barracudas and the Guernsey Swimming Club, the organiser of the championships, have some exciting youngsters progressing through the ranks due in no small part to the work of Frankland and her GSC counterpart, Jo Winberg.

However, the latter still enjoys competing herself and looked in good form at this gala in preparation for the Barclays International Masters next weekend.

Arguably the performance of the third session on Saturday afternoon came from Thomas Hollingsworth, one of the more established stars of local swimming.

The 16-year-old Barracuda was tipped to break Ian Powell's record in the 50m backstroke and he did not disappoint, clocking 28.03sec. to knock 0.24sec. off the age group record and also go quicker than Powell's best meeting time of 28.19sec.

Lowndes then finished the session in record-breaking form.


The GSC star's time of 1min. 09.87sec. in the 100m breaststroke surpassed John Tomlin's record by 0.29sec. set in 1998.

Earlier, Lowndes and Hollingsworth had an excellent battle in the 200m butterfly with never more than a quarter-of-a-second separating the pair over the opening 150m before Lowndes pulled away to win in 2-07.20.

Meanwhile, Strobridge continues to amaze and on this occasion she broke the 200m butterfly record set by Michelle Tomlin 10 years ago by clocking 2-22.78.

It is no wonder that the Barracudas will miss her when she departs for university in September, but for now Frankland is just delighted with how all the local swimmers are performing.

'I am really pleased. We have had lots of personal bests and when you consider that only two weeks ago they were at the Hampshire Championships and then the CI's, it is good to see these times being swum. Records are going and standards are improving all the time,' she added.

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