SWIMMING: Bird's title caps Blue Fins' success

Bicester Advertiser: Kieran Bird was crowned age group champion Kieran Bird was crowned age group champion

Bicester Blue Fins’ Kieran Bird was crowned age group champion at the Oxfordshire & North Bucks County Championships in Aylesbury.

Bird, 14, rounded off an outstanding competition by winning gold in the 200m individual medley, plus a silver and two bronze.

It took his overall haul to six first places. He was also second in the junior championship (all ages 16 and under) for both the 200m individual medley and 100m breaststroke.

Fellow national swimmer Tom Thornley stormed to second place overall in the 14 year old championship, picking up two further gold medals in the 50m and 200m Backstroke to add to the one he already won, plus two more silvers in the 50m butterfly and 200m individual medley.

As a result, the club, who are sponsored by Bicester Village, boast the best two 14-year-old boys in the county.

It will put the duo in great heart for this summer’s national champion-ships.

Freddie Ashley-Sparks picked up his fourth gold in the 50m butterfly and finished fourth overall in the boys 11 year old standings.

Lottie Wynne-Jones was runner-up in the girls ten-year-old category.

She won her second gold in the 200m butterfly in a best meet time.

Wynne-Jones also added two silver and two bronze medal.

Oliver Inness, 12, took home three silvers and a bronze, and achieved third place in his category overall.

His 12-year-old teammate William Whitley also secured his second gold in the 100m breaststroke and was fifth overall. Maddy Powell collected two silvers and a bronze to take third place in the ten-year-old girls category.

The trio of Tabitha Watkins, Ellie Bunce and national swimmer Liam O’Brien landed silver medals.

Tom Nolte and Ellie Falkner each won two bronze med-als.

Blue Fins finished fifth overall as they collected 19 gold, 30 silvers and 24 bronze medals, making it the biggest haul in the club’s 64-year history.

Blue Fins’ head coach Struan McNeil was delighted.

“The future is very bright for Bicester Blue Fins,” he said.

“Three swimmers qualifying for nationals is a testament to our swimmers hard work and we look forward to more of them achieving this level in the future.”

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