Anaconda youngsters make mark with medals at British Summer Championships

Anaconda Swimming Club's Elena Dewhurst and Tommy Donovan at the National Championships

Anaconda Swimming Club's Elena Dewhurst and Tommy Donovan at the National Championships - Credit: Archant

Islington’s Anaconda Swimming Club had double reason to cheer at the British Summer Championships in Sheffield.

Elena Dewhurst clocked a new personal best in her 50 metres freestyle heat of 26.95 seconds, then improved it further to 26.88 to win gold in the 13/14-year-old category.

Team-mate Tommy Donovan made it on to the podium in the 16-year-old boy’s 50 metre breaststroke, following a personal best of 30.42 in his heat with a new mark of 30.13 in the final to claim bronze.

Donovan was sixth in the 100m breaststroke final in a new best of 1.06.80, after clocking 1.06.99 in the heats, and was seventh in the 200m breaststroke in 2.29.74, after recording 2.30.26 in his heat.

The pair were supported by head coach Wayne Lock and coach Joe Grubb during the week and Lock said: “Words cannot describe the rollercoaster of emotions we have experienced in Shefffield.

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“I have been a part of Anaconda as a swimmer and coach since I was nine years old and have never felt highs as intense as this.

“I’m so fortunate to be able to work with our amazing swimmers daily and I’m so grateful their hard work and trust in me as their coach has paid off.

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“Although the medals and National finals are incredible, I’m most pleased with how much we all enjoy the journey. There is no better feeling than enjoying the graft because we are passionate about what we do.”

The medals capped the pair’s most successful season to date, with Donovan having already won the 50m and 100m breaststroke titles at the Middlesex Championships and London Regionals, while taking 50m silver for Islington at the London Youth Games.

He also represented Middlesex at the National Inter-County Championships and competed alongside Olympic and world champion Adam Peaty at the British Championships in April, which doubled up as trials for the World Championships.

Meanwhile, Dewhurst was a three-time Middlesex champion, in the 50m butterfly and 50m and 100m freestyle, as well as winning 50m freestyle golds at London Regionals and for Islington at the London Youth Games.

She is set to compete for Anaconda with team-mate Alice Hockey at the Swim England Summer Championships in Sheffield this weekend.

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