SWIMMING: Ace Thornley is the golden boy

Bicester Blue Fins show off their medals. From left: Kieran Bird, Tom Nolte, Ellie Falkner and Tom Thornley. Liam O’Brien is not in picture

Bicester Blue Fins show off their medals. From left: Kieran Bird, Tom Nolte, Ellie Falkner and Tom Thornley. Liam O’Brien is not in picture

First published in Sport
Last updated

Bicester Blue Fins’ Tom Thornley won four gold medals in the youth category at the South East Regional Championships.

He stormed to victory in the 50m freestyle, the 50m backstroke, the 100m backstroke and 200m backstroke.

Thornley also won three silver medals, in the championships, which were held at Crawley and Guildford over the bank holiday.

Clubmate and fellow 14-year-old Kieran Bird was also in top form, striking gold in the 100m butterfly and 200m butterfly.

He also won a silver and three bronze as well as being crowned overall best swimmer in his age group, calculated on points won across a defined number of events.

Thornley was overall runner-up to complete a good weekend for the club.

Competing shortly after his success at the British Championships, 17-year-old Liam O’Brien broke two Bicester club records, while Tom Nolte, 15, set four age group club records.

Ellie Falkner won silver in the 800m freestyle and bronze in the 400m freestyle in the 14-year-old girls category. Blue Fins head coach Struan McNeil said: “The whole coaching team is pleased with the way these five swimmers stepped up to this key challenge.

“We have two of the very best 14-year-old swimmers in the country at our small club with Tom and Kieran.

“But we’re also proud of Ellie, Liam and Tom Nolte’s performances agai-nst the top regional athletes.

“An incredible 20 club records and seven age group records were broken – a sign of the effort all five of these swimmers put in.

“But the job’s not done. We have high hopes for more medals when the younger swimmers have their opportunity in Crawley later this month, plus our focus is turning to training for the national championships in August (in Sheffield).”

The regional championships resume on May 31.

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