SWIMMING: Three weeks of tough regional competition finally reached an end for Suffolk's top swimmers on Sunday. In a dramatic relay session, hundreds of county competitors pulled out all the stops to launch a fierce racing battle against rival clubs.
By Debbie Watson
THREE weeks of tough regional competition finally reached an end for Suffolk's top swimmers on Sunday.
In a dramatic relay session, hundreds of county competitors pulled out all the stops to launch a fierce racing battle against rival clubs.
And, in the closing individual events, yet more records were smashed by the region's vast array of high-class swimming talent.
Notably, this year's championship has seen the triumphs evenly shared among the county's many dominant and lesser-known clubs – with the likes of Deben, RAF Lakenheath, Royal Hospital School and Ipswich all sharing podium places throughout the event's 11 sessions.
Now, with the county championship completely over, Suffolk's team officials will begin the arduous task of results-analysis.
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Literally thousands of times will be sifted through over the coming weeks and from that time-consuming operation, the region's most impressive club swimmers will be drawn together to compete in national
Those achievers will then be requested to represent Suffolk at a number of dedicated venues around the country.
Sue Mallion, county team manager, said after the championship that she was thrilled with the level of performances.
"I am delighted at the standard of swimmer which Suffolk is producing," she said.
"It will make picking teams for the various inter-county galas a very exciting prospect indeed."
Sue added: "Many of those swimmers will be chosen on the strength of their performances over the last three weekends."
From each of the relay sessions, the first three teams will now be representing their clubs at the Midland Districts. On an individual level, a number of swimmers who obtained district and national times will compete again in the forthcoming District Championships.
Gaining a place on this next tier of competition is a massive achievement for club swimmers, and a particularly deserved reward for those who dedicate so many hours of their life to training.
The top club for this year's Suffolk County Championship was West Suffolk, with Ipswich
second and Waveney third.
The annual coach award was presented to Alastair Howard of Deben Swimming Club.