Olympic trial experience will stand Team Ipswich in good stead
London 2012 has proved to be a step too far but for the Team Ipswich boys that competed at last week’s GB Olympic trials, it was an experience they will never forget.
Ryan Tomkins (400m 1500m freestyle), Charlie Smith (200m butterfly), Jake Tyson (200m IM), Joshua Coleby (50m freestyle) and Paralympic hopeful Ryan Crouch (50m, 100m, 400m freestyle, 200m IM and 100m backstroke), all made the grade to rub shoulders with the nation’s best in Stratford.
And while they failed to qualify for their respective semi-finals, coach Dave Champion said the event, held at the new Aquatic Centre, was a vital part of the youngsters’ development.
“It was a great experience and I can only judge on the reaction of the boys to see how much they enjoyed it,” said Champion.
“For them it was the best thing that had ever happened to them. They are way too young to be swimming at this level and some of those that they were swimming against are on another level at the moment, but they have been there and seen it now, and that will prepare them for next time.
“I think it was important for them and their training development, being in the same pool and sharing the same changing room as swimmers that may be going to the Olympics.
“They are still talking about the event now and that has given them the appetite to try and be the one on the podium next time.”
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Ryan Tomkins finished 37th in his 400m heat in a time of 4:05:58 and 34th in the 1500m, in 16:18.37.
His team mate, Charlie Smith was 66th in 2:13.55, while Jake Tyson finished 47th in 2:13.57..
Joshua Coleby was 60th in 27:36, while Ryan Crouch, took two 11th-placed finishes in his various heats.
“We said that the Olympic trials were likely to be the first step on their individual journeys to the Commonwealth Games or the Rio Olympics,” said experienced coach, Champion.
“They will be stronger for the experience as there was so much emotion around the pool for them to see.
“The trials provide a rollercoaster of emotions; For some, it has given them their path to the London Olympics, for others it has ended their careers.”
A total of 38 swimmers will represent Team GB at the Olympic Games following the trials.