Golden boy Smith puts on a Masters-class for Kenilworth - The Leamington Observer

Golden boy Smith puts on a Masters-class for Kenilworth

Leamington Editorial 30th Oct, 2019   0

NEAL Smith took five gold medals and helped Kenilworth Masters make a splash at the Swim England Masters National Championships in Sheffield.

Turning out at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, the Masters set new national records in the medley relay and freestyle relay events, returning with six golds and 23 medals in all.

The men’s 160+ years medley relay team of Alistair Knight, Rob Robson, James Wardle and Smith set a record finish of 1:46.05 in the 4x50m category, before swimming to a 3:54.97 time in the 4x100m event – over six seconds faster than the previous record.

Smith then joined Miguel Machado and brothers Matt and James Wardle in the pool for the 4x100m freestyle relay event, helping break another record after the quartet finished in 3:33.29.




The mixed medley relay 160+ years team of Jill Groves, Clare Wilkinson, James Wardle and Smith then continued the club’s success by retaining their 2018 title in the 4x100m race, narrowly missing out on a new British record by 0.2 seconds.

Lucy Castle, Sophie Hodgson, Mel McWhirter and Jen Tawn returned with silver medals in the 72+ years 4x100m freestyle relay as the only other team representing the club.


Kenilworth also excelled on an individual level, with Smith again the stand-out performer with two golds, a silver and a bronze.

Wilkinson received a gold and a silver, Knight claimed a gold and a bronze, while Machado took the other gold medal and a bronze for his efforts.

Also impressing at the Championships were Groves and James Wardle – who both received a silver and two bronze medals, and the trio of Elinor Bird, Rob Robson and Matt Thomas – who won a silver and a bronze each.

Overall, the Masters finished 11th in the club rankings on 153 points, one of their best showings to date.

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