SWIMMING: Blue Fins clinch title glory

Bicester Blue Fins boys’ 200m 11 to 12-year-old-boys A medley relay team were celebrating after striking gold in the Oxfordshire & North Bucks County Championships at Aylesbury.

The quartet of Oliver Inness, William Whitley, Freddie Ashley-Sparks and Ethan Miranda-Gale put on outstanding display to take the gold medal by 4.5 sec, seeing off strong challenges from Abingdon and Aylesbury Maxwell.

The championships take place over four weekends in February and March at the Bletchley and Aylesbury pools, with the relays and long-distance events completing first.

Backed by sponsorship from Bicester Village, Blue Fins entered their largest relay contingent this year made up of 46 swimmers competing across three age groups in the 200m individual medley and freestyle relay events.

The boys 13-14 team of Tom Thornley, Callum Laird, Kieran Bird and Ryan Cattle struck bronze in the 200m freestyle, with only half a second separating the three medal places.

And they were just edged into fourth place in the 200m medley by only half a second.

Bicester Blue Fins head coach Struan McNeil could not hide his delight at the team’s medal success.

“This was the perfect start to our county championships campaign,” he said. “The 11 and 12-year-old boys were great, and to become country age group champions by such a winning margin is everything they deserved.”

Now the relays are over, the swimmers can focus on their individual events, culminating in county age group champions being crowned after the final weekend on March 16.

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