Some of the team at the Warwick Thompson Gala L to R back Sam Watts (Coach) Lewis Goulty Front L to R Razvan Platon,Winnie Browne,Emily Beighton,Rebecca Burrows, Esme Seaman & Baillee Beighton

After having a very successful County Championships. we swam well again when we travelled to the Warwick Thompson gala in Thetford.

For 15 year old Emily Beighton it was a gala she will not forget for a long time. Over the week-end of competition, she won five gold medals. Her first came in the 200m Individual Medley. Completing 50m on all four strokes, the Broadland High School student from Bacton, led the race from the gun and was fifteen seconds clear of any opponent after she touched in  3:06.89 Emily swam butterfly again in the 100m but it was much closer. However, she just held on to win in 1:35.81. The decisive factor was her breathing technique when she took one breath every two strokes in stead of the traditional one. This definitely worked to her advantage.

Emily is proving to be very versatile in all strokes over different distances and when it came to the 50m backstroke, she won it with a finger tip finish hitting the pad in with 40.03 – a split second ahead. Perhaps her fastest race came in the 50m breaststroke when she defeated no fewer than eight competitors in 41.56. In her final triumph, she completely dominated  the 200m breaststroke winning almost 18 seconds ahead of any rival and in a personal best time of  2:23.66 . When asked about her swims, Emily said

“I have to admit I was very apprehensive this week about my 100m butterfly but when I got there,a member of the coaching staff at the club told me ‘If I think I can’t, I will not – but If I think I can I will,   I therefore just felt the time was right to at least start the race. I just could not imagine I would even get in the medals let alone win gold.” was the honest and modest reply.

Seniors and debutants, Sam Morton and Lewis Goulty both had multiple gold medal success in their first ever galas. In the 100m freestyle, Lewis aged 19,  came first  in 1:04.20. in an explosive finish. Then there were two more golds the 50m butterfly in 34.59 and his hat-trick of golds came in the 50m freestyle scoring 28.94. Meanwhile, 16 year old  Sam stated his claim on the 100m IM with a gold medal time of 1:20.36.  Sam did not have to wait long for his second gold when he added  the 50m backstroke  in 39.34 to his tally respectively.

Razvan Platon, won gold, five silvers and a bronze medal

In the 14 years,100m breastroke, he was three  seconds ahead of any opponent  at the half way mark.  Then on the last 50m he pulled further ahead  winning the race and improving his time by eight seconds when he brought it home in 1:41.98 to win the gold. .However, it was the 100m Individual Medley where he excelled and improved further . He was in contention right throughout the race and finished in silver medal position, just one second behind the winner but with a personal best of 1:30.93   – an eighteen second improvement  For a sprint event – where swimmers have to swim all four strokes in the race – it was simply  outstanding.

Doubling the distances Razvan attempted the 200m breastroke. At the touch he was just two seconds adrift of winning the gold but his silver medal time of  time of  3.38.47 was a twelve second improvement. It was the same distance again, but in the freestyle when Razvan claimed another silver medal with 2:48.72  Razvan improved  his time here by nineteen seconds.

In the 50m breastroke, he went six seconds faster than he has achieved to claim a well deserved silver medal in 48.21 and He improved his 50m butterfly by seven seconds when he hit the pad in in 43.04 for silver.

His bronze medal swim was for the 50m back stroke when he finished in 48.07  ironically, on this occasion, he was  four seconds out side his best time but not many swimmers left with seven medals! When asked about his swims, Razvan said

“Whilst it’s true that I have greatly improved recently, I don’t want to get too carried away. However, I’m excited for the next step forward.’

Full credit must go to 11 year old Layla Callaby who was the exceptional winner over the 50m breaststroke. Layla defeated six swimmers to win in 59.10 and is only currently in the development squad. However, Layla was not finished. There was another gold to follow  this time in the 50m freestyle defeating nine swimmers in a close finish with a stoic 45.11.

Amongst the medals was 12 year old Winnie Browne who had double medal success.. After a lot of perseverance, hard work and tenacity in training she went 1.36.09  on the 100m backstroke to take silver and then in the 200m freestyle, she scored  3.04.01 to take a bronze medal. Winne swam a personal best in both races.

Fearne Sadler, aged 10, also swam her fastest over 50m freestyle when she improved by twenty two seconds for the 50m freestyle to collect a bronze with 48.24. There was a bronze too for 13 year old Baillee Beighton over 100m in the 13 years freestyle in 1.37.77.

Esme Seaman entered no fewer than nine events and improved her own personal performances and was happy. The 14 year old was just out of the medals, finishing fourth over the 100m IM with1:36.27 Rosa Sadler, Fearne’s elder sister, swam will in the 50m freestyle in her best time of 45.55 .

Vikings left the gala with 14 golds, 14 silvers and 5. bronze medals.