Send us news, start your message Messenger News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Swimming: Jacob's in seventh heaven on debut
TEN-year-old Jacob O’Hara came home with seven medals after making a splash on his long-course debut.
The Seagulls youngster struck gold five times and silver twice at the Portsmouth New Year Level 1 meet. It was not only his first-ever swim in a 50m pool but also his first level one competition.
“The biggest pool I have swum in before is 25m. The 50m pool looks so long and it was hard to work out how to swim the races,” said O’Hara, who lives in Southbourne and shares a birthday with former world champion Mark Foster.
His wins came in the 10yrs 200m individual medley in 3:08.93, 100 and 200m breaststroke (1:39.49 and 3:26.44), 100m butterfly (1:37.50) and 200m freestyle (2:46.92). He also won silver in the 400m medley in 6:35.93 and 100m freestyle (1:19.32).
Jacob’s sister Bethan O’Hara added to the family’s gold haul with victory in the 14yrs 100m backstroke and 200m medley (1:11.81 and 2:33.88). She also won silver in 400m medley (5:26.82) and 200m backstroke (2:34.00).
In the 14yrs boys’ events, Andrew Botros made the medals seven times, collecting gold in the 200m butterfly and backstroke (2:28.59 and 2:20.82), silver in the 200 and 400m medley (2:25.82 and 5:07.58) and bronze in the 100m butterfly and backstroke and the 400m freestyle.
Anashe Chisadza was another double gold medallist as she won the 10yrs 100m backstroke and butterfly in 1:29.88 and 1:25.68 respectively and silver in 200m medley (3:30.35).
Eleven-year-old Joe Noyce maintained the trend in his age group as he took gold in 200m butterfly in 3:20.30 and silver in 400m medley (6:46.64).
Maisie Gormley was another winner, claiming gold in the 13yrs 100m backstroke in 1:10.96 and silver in the 200m backstroke in 2:38.22.
In the 12 years age group Seagulls team-mates Harriet Perfect and Zoe Gannaway both made the podium, Perfect coming second in the 200m backstroke in 2:33.79 and third in the 100m back (1:12.65) and 200m medley (2:45.38), Gannaway second in the 100m butterfly (1:18.98).
In the open age group Darren Price edged closer to his 50m freestyle national qualifying time as he took silver in 25.03.
Former Seagull Ellie Kerslake – now with Swim Bournemouth – will be heading for her first national championships this summer after winning the 15-16yrs 100m backstroke by almost three seconds in 1:07.48. She also won the 200m back in 2:26.80.
Her winnings were among 29 gold, 18 silver and 18 bronze medals won by Swim Bournemouth swimmers – and even more personal best times.
Alan Wong, Jamie Gray and Kiana Hooshmand all came within a fingernail of achieving their national times based on manual timing as the scoreboard went down on the second day of the meet, while Abbie Quarrie top-ped Bournemouth’s medal tally with five gold and three silvers.
Matt Collins struck gold three times while two golds apiece went to Olivia Esposti, Jemma Green, Hooshmand, Izzy Pryce, Luke Roxburgh, Jay Lelliott and Hannah Stonier.
“Regional times came in thick and fast, which is great so early in the season,” said head coach Emma Richards.