The British National Swimming Championships took place at Ponds Forge, Sheffield from July 28th to August 1st. The format of the competition has changed this year with only the 24 fastest swimmers in each event qualifying for the Championships. Whereas in the past swimmers achieved their place by meeting entry times, they now have to be ranked in the top 24 within a qualifying window of 11 weeks.
Beth Newton started the week with a great swim in the 200m Freestyle Heats in 2:04.86 to qualify for the final in 4th Place. She also finished 4th in the Final, with a very well-paced swim to improve her personal best to 2.03.37.This was just a warm-up to what was to follow.
In the Backstroke events Beth swept all aside. In the 100m, she qualified for the final in 3rd place in a time of 1:04.64 having swum a very conservative first 50m. In the final, she went out fast in the first 50m in 30.52, the aim was to blow away the competition and use her fitness to hold on to the lead. This was exactly what happened! Beth held on to the lead to finish in 1.03.08 and secure the Gold Medal, her first ever National medal.
In the 200m Back, she fared even better, qualifying from the Heats in 1st place in 2.18.17. The plan for the heats was to take the race out hard and secure a centre lane for the final. In the final Beth paced to perfection, starting controlled and building throughout the race to tear through in the last 25m to win the race. With a well-structured race she took her second Gold, in a time of 2.16.41!
In her final event, the 50m Back, she qualified for the final in 3rd place in 30.53. Beth’s phenomenal underwater phase put her ahead from the start, holding her ground and with a powerful finish she secured her 3rd Gold medal in a time of 29.78.
This is an amazing achievement. To win one Gold medal at Nationals is very special, but to be the 16 year old National Champion in all three distances is outstanding and testament to Beth’s determination and commitment to the sport
Beth’s statement – It was really great to be at the British Championships this week and swim at the top of my game for my main 3 events and winning 3 gold medals in the 50, 100 & 200 backstroke events. The last year has been particularly hard with many hours of continuous training, whilst also in my final year at Haygrove Secondary School sitting my GCSE’s and my grateful thanks go to Paul Ritchie my coach from Street Swimming Club, without his most valuable input and personal coaching I could not have possibly achieved these results. I would also like to thank TS5C a Somerset based charity who have also helped me with grant aid where funds have permitted. I am really pleased at this point as I have been selected to receive a Bridgwater College BC Sports Performance Scholarship and I have been given a place on the England Talent Programme.