The British Championships 2019 took place from the 16.-22.04.2019 in Glasgow. This is the biggest meet on British soil and featured some of the UKs top swimming talent including Adam Peaty and Duncan Scott. City of Sheffield Swim Squad (Team Steel), was represented by 22 swimmers, some of whom were targeting this meet as their main competition and trying to qualify for the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, and the under 18s for the World Junior Championships in Budapest and the European Junior Championships in Kazan.

Over the six days, each morning consisted of the heats, and then in the evening there were three finals per event. These finals consisted of the Junior final for girls 17 years and under and boys 18 years and under, the Transition final for anyone 23 years and under and the Open final for the fastest 8 swimmers in the UK in that event. Team Steel qualified for a total of 30 finals!

One of the highlights for Team Steel was Sam Budd, 20, who started off the meet with a very hard fought and excellent 3rd place in the 400m freestyle Open final. He managed to carry this form on and made his 10 sessions per week training count as he took the gold medal in the 800 freestyle Open. This was a brilliant swim from Sam who led from the start and used his excellent turns to expand his lead and after a blistering final 50m was crowned British Champion in 7:59.78 (the first time he got under 8 minutes). Sam is a great inspiration at Team Steel, as he has been part of the squad his whole swimming career after starting off aged 6, proving that great things come from hard work.

Sam BuddSam Budd

Also swimming in the 400m freestyle was Jay Lelliot, who was head on head with Sam, but just got touched out and came a respectable fourth. However, over the 200m backstroke Jay would not be denied a podium spot, coming in a joint 3rd place and dipping under the magical 2-minute barrier for the first time in a new personal best, Yorkshire and club record of 1:59.79.
One of our rising stars who stole the show for the Junior Backstrokers was Charlie Brown, 18, who swam an amazing 100m and 200m backstroke. In both these events he qualified for the World Junior Championships in Budapest. In the 100m Transition Final Charlie stormed ahead and manged to win with a massive personal best, Yorkshire and club record of 55.42. Then on the 200m backstroke Charlie managed to qualify for the Open final, but was not the least bit fazed competing with the best of Britain and swam a perfect race plan, finishing in a marvellous fifth place in 2:00.25. Team Steel and British swimming will be watching his performances closely as he starts his next block of training to prepare for the top Junior competition in World swimming.

Charlie BrownCharlie Brown

Some other swimmers who had excellent performances were Kate Clifton over the 50m and 100m freestyle swimming two fantastic personal bests and coming a close fourth in the 50m Open final. The time of 25.75 was also a new Yorkshire and club record. Amy Bell, Kate’s training partner for over 10 years, swam a new personal best in the 400 IM Open final taking also forth place. Over on the girls Backstroke Lily Boseley impressed with two speedy swims in the 50 and 100 Open final, again achieving two new personal bests and getting a new Yorkshire and club record in each. Sapphira Gabbani stepped up for her first British championships final smashing her old personal best by 5 seconds and taking a brilliant third place in the 400m freestyle Junior final.

The boys also were chasing personal bests and Cameron Brooks-Clarke and his younger brother Eugene both did just that. Cameron took the 2nd place in the 50m freestyle Transition final and Eugene improved his 200m Freestyle time by over 1 second. In the 100m butterfly Transition final Cole Hewitt managed to get a new seasons best from the heat swim with a strong 56.46 coming in a superb 3rd place. This is now the third time Cole has gone 56 sec in the 100 Fly in a month, surely it will not be long until the 56 barrier is broken.
Before the British Championships took place, Richard Nagy, Team Steel’s international swimmer from Slovakia, raced the 400m IM in the Stockholm Open Meet in Sweden in a time of 4:15.97. This secured his place for the World Championships in Gwangju this summer. Everyone at Team Steel will be wishing Richard the best of luck.

The swimmers will now have a week’s recovery then it will back into the pool at Ponds Forge to prepare for the Summer Nationals and International meets later this year.

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