Swimming: Bobcat swimmers show a ‘Wealth of talent'

From left to right, Tom Hamer, William Murray and Katie Rennolds

From left to right, Tom Hamer, William Murray and Katie Rennolds

First published in Sport

GOLDEN boy Tom Hamer could be heading back to Glasgow in search of Commonwealth Games glory this summer.

The 15-year-old Burnley Bobcats star won gold and swooped for a personal best time of 2.01.91 in the final of the 200 metres freestyle event at the British Gas Championships at Tollcross, the venue hosting the Commonwealth Games competition in the city.

His brilliant swim earned him a qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games in his S14 category.

Hamer, who attends Alder Grange Community Technology School, Rawtenstall, said: “It is a fantastic feeling. It would be a brilliant opportunity to represent England this summer.

“Swimming against guys that have been to the World Championships was great and it gives you so much confidence.

“Now my aim is to go under two minutes and swim a 1.59.00.”

Hamer, though, has definitely secured a place in the Great Britain team at the European IPC Swimming Championships in Holland in August.

The Glasgow tournament included a stellar line-up of international swim stars and the Bobcats squad locked horns with Fran Halsall, Lizzie Simmonds, Michael Jamieson and Liam Tancock, as British records fell. Katie Rennolds, a Year 11 student at St Christopher's Church of England School, Accrington, was also in sparkling form, clocking a personal best in the 200 metres butterfly (2.20.00) On the final day of the competition she was racing against 400 metres freestyle open winner Jazmin Carlin, with Rennolds placed in 12th position in her age group.

“It was an amazing experience competing against some of the top athletes in the country at the Glasgow pool,” she said.

Katie also added that she was very proud to be representing the town of Burnley and Bobcats, as most of her competitors were from City clubs.

There was also an excellent display from William Murray, who goes to Bowland High School, Clitheroe.

The 16-year-old also took to the blocks on the third day of the competition, clocking 53.54 in the Open Mens 100 metres freestyle.

Bobcats Head Coach Mike Robinson said: “Competing at these championships was a fantastic experience for all three swimmers.

“For personal bests to be achieved, a gold medal and a place in the GB team was unbelievable, and certainly a well earned reward for all the hard training and dedication they've put in.”

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