Guernsey Press

Hallett shines in Sheffield

A TRIO of Guernsey records tumbled to hard-working teenager Charlie-Joe Hallett as his outstanding season culminated at the National Winter Championships at Pond’s Forge.

Charlie-Joe Hallett set new island short-course records over 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 26515617)

It had been an impressive debut at the competition for the 18-year-old Guernsey Swimming Club star, who improved his own island marks for the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke in the short-course pool at the renowned Sheffield venue.

All three of his previous times dated back to a fine outing at the Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games where he came back with his first individual title in the latter event.

In his very first swim of his four days in Sheffield, Hallett dived into the competition head-first to throw down a new marker of 1min. 2.09sec. in his opening 100m heat.

After a stint in the 400m IM where he neared his personal best with 4-31-20, he returned to the focal breaststroke events and has been greatly rewarded in doing so.

He twice improved his 50m record, peaking at 28.45 in the final, then mirrored this over the 200m event with a 2-15.19 best.

He placed third in the 18-and-under final of both distances but had not medalled in a meet where several youth swimmers had elected to swim in the adult events.

Proud father Barry Hallett nevertheless paid tribute to the accomplishments of the determined teenager.

‘It’s an amazing achievement, not only in the last few days but just the last six months,’ said Hallett senior.

‘He has taken a lot of time off his 50, 100 and 200 and that’s just down to great dedication and hard work.’

GSC head coach Naomi Wakeford also praised Hallett’s work ethic for swimming ‘maximum hours’ and noted that he had improved by 12 seconds over 200 breast since the start of the season.

He has elevated himself to an impressive fourth in Britain’s single-age rankings for that distance and also cracked the top-five for the two shorter events.

Hallett has already qualified for the British Championships in April and is set to take to the pool in impressive company for the Olympic Trials event.