Golden girl Niamh is good for Commonwealth Games!

Niamh Robinson warmed up for the Commonwealth Games with double gold in the pool

Niamh Robinson warmed up for the Commonwealth Games with double gold in the pool

First published in Sport by , Features Writer

Niamh Robinson warmed up for her Commonwealth Games debut with a gold double, landing personal bests in the 100 metres and 200 metres breaststroke finals at the British Gas International Swimming Championships in Manchester.

The 14-year-old swimming star is set to compete in 50 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres breaststroke, 50 metres backstroke, 200 metres medley and 50 metres for the Isle of Man in Glasgow, but she stormed to victory in both finals in splendid style.

The Pioneer 79 Swimming Club member took the blocks for the 200m breaststroke final, having qualified in seventh position, and from the moment she broke the surface from her dive, she was in charge of the race.

At the half way point, the teen sensation from Darwen was nearly two seconds ahead of her main rival – European Youth Olympic Gold medallist, Abbie Wood – and she just kept going to the finish, despite Wood’s powerful challenge.

It proved another wonderful performance as she clocked a personal best time of 2.35.50 – two and a half seconds faster than her previous personal best for the distance.

Next up was the 100m breaststroke final, and once again she stunned a powerful field as her golden run in the pool continued.

Taking the centre of the pool in lane four, she was quickly in the groove and her exceptional underwater work saw her out in front again.

At the half way point of the race, she had had already turned in a new personal best time of 33.82 for 50 metres, before stopping the clock at 1.12.12 and smashing her previous best time.

She also recorded the twelfth fastest time for a 14-year-old in the British ASA Rankings System.

To complete a remarkable championship return, Niamh also fired a personal best of 31.29 in the 50 metres backstroke, while in the 50 metres fly she also landed a new personal best of 20.15 to re-write the record books again.

On the final day, she clocked another personal best, this time in the 50 metres breaststroke, and qualified fifth fastest for the Open Women's final.

However, she was unable to compete in the final, as she had to return to the Isle of Man for a Commonwealth Games training camp.

Her team-mate from the Accrington-based Pioneer 79 Swimming Club, 17-year-old Tom Gilroy, was also in tip-top form, achieving a personal best of 27.43 in the Under-18 backstroke heats and finishing in 14th place overall.

Gilroy’s next assignment will be at the National Youth Championships at Sheffield next month.

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