11th Dec, 2016

Sharks trio rise to the challenge at National Summer Championships

Liam Moakes 22nd Aug, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

STRATFORD Sharks trio Elinor Bird, Seren Mahon and Tom Beamer bagged four medals between them thanks to some superb performances at the season-ending ASA National Summer Championships.

Bird and Mahon qualified for the Welsh ASA Nationals and Beamer for the English ASA Nationals and both events were incredibly challenging as they featured many of the best swimmers in the country battling for the medals.

Indeed, this is the very pinnacle of many young swimmers’ careers.

Mahon swam in nine events and posted five personal best times.

In the gruelling 800m freestyle she smashed 13 seconds off her previous best and snatched a bronze medal.

“I’ve got to be pleased with that,” she said.

“I’ve finished the swim season with all these PBs and a medal. The hard work is really paying off and I can’t wait for the next season to begin.”

Bird competed in eight events over six days and with the requirement to qualify for the finals it meant she had to race on 13 separate occasions which is no mean feat in itself.

However, despite the heavy workload, she powered to gold in the 200m breaststroke and clinched silvers in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

Other notable results included her fifth place in the 400m individual medley and sixths in the 200m individual medley and 200m backstroke (with a Sharks club record).

Beamer’s challenge took him north to the English ASA Summer Nationals at Ponds Forge in Sheffield for which he had qualified in one of the toughest events, the 200m butterfly.

With live streaming over the internet, his family and friends were able to watch from home.

Beamer had been working hard with head coach Dirk Cox on perfecting his turns and race pace and this effort paid dividends as he smashed the club record, won his heat and blasted into the final with a three-and-a-half-second personal best.

Making the final had been his target for 2016. He finished ninth and is determined to be back next year for a medal.

Sharks membership secretary Graham Hopper said: “After the showcase of the Olympics, Sharks always experiences a surge in interest.

“Children want to see if they’ve got what it takes to become the next Adam Peaty or Jazz Carlin.

“Stratford Sharks will be taking part in the ‘I am Team GB’ event at Stratford Leisure Centre on Saturday, August 27 between 11.30am and 1.30pm and anyone is welcome to come along to find out more about competitive swimming.”