On Saturday 7thJuly the City of Norwich swimming club hosted their Midsummer Madness long course gala. This gala attracts many of the fastest swimmers in the region as it is one of the few opportunities to compete in a 50m pool rather than the more common 25m short course format. For many of the younger swimmers, it provided valuable race experience, especially as the County Championships are also now long course.
Taking into account the level of swimmers competing, and the number of swimmers in each age group (often over 20), winning medals at this meet was always going to be tough. However, Amelia Dibble (10) continued her excellent streak of form by once again, taking medals in every event she competed in. Over the course of the day, she swam 8 races, coming away with: gold in the 100m butterfly, 50m breaststroke, and 50m butterfly; silver in 100m backstroke, 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke and a bronze in the 100m breaststroke.
Not that Amelia had it quite all her own way – she was pushed hard by 2 of her own team mates, Skye Nichols and Grace Turner, who have both shown real potential and determination to succeed. Skye beat Amelia in the 50m backstroke with an excellent swim to take gold, and in the 100m backstroke came away with bronze. Grace Turner showed her talent for breaststroke by taking bronze in 50m breaststroke and just missing out on the medals in the 100m breaststroke where she was 4th.
Anna Pearce (girls vice-captain) also had an excellent weekend, coming away with an impressive 4 medals. Anna has always been a talented butterfly swimmer and this showed again, with her taking silver in the girls age 13 50m butterfly and bronze in the 100m butterfly. She also took bronze medals in the 100m freestyle and the 200m freestyle.
For the boys, the 13 year olds had the most success for the club, with Rhys Jarvis and Ollie Grimmer both taking medals. Ollie has shown in the past that backstroke has been his strongest stroke, and it gave him his highest placing at this event too, with a silver in the 100m backstroke. Rhys took an excellent bronze in the 50m freestyle, which is always a hard fought event, and Rhys pulled an massive pb out of the bag to take the bronze, in the very last event of the day.
In total 21 swimmers from GYSC competed at the gala and there were a lot of new long course pb times between them, along with excellent team support of each other. Open galas like these are great opportunities for squad swimmers to improve their times and race techniques. Even when races don’t quite go to plan, and swimmers don’t beat their own pbs, get disqualified or just feel like they had a bad race they are valuable learning opportunities that help swimmers develop and improve. If you are not sure about entering open galas talk to your squad coach for advice. Well done to all of the swimmers who competed and many thanks to the coaching team, parents, officials and volunteers who supported the swimmers through a very long day of competing (and sacrificed their own afternoon of watching the England football match!).