A star turn

Friday, February 14, 2014


A star turn

Commonwealth champion Katy Sexton at Medina Leisure Centre. Picture by Jennifer Burton.



COMMONWEALTH Games gold medallist and Olympian Katy Sexton was the star of the show at the IW Marlins International Open Meet.

Katy, 31, of Portsmouth, represented Windsor Swimming Club, was making her debut at the IW event and set two new British records, in the 50m butterfly and the 50m freestyle.

Her butterfly record of 28.01 was almost two seconds faster than the one previously set, and was all the more impressive given she swam with tonsillitis.

"The 50m butterfly is not one I normally do and it was the first event of the day, so it was nice to get this one out of the way, the way I did, so I could relax," she said. "I am pleased with the British record, especially I was feeling a bit below par. If I had executed the turn a bit better, I could’ve had a world record time for this category.

"I have family on the Island so it was nice to be involved. The event has a nice atmosphere — very relaxed."

Katy wasn’t the only swimmer setting records across the meet. Peter Weedon, 65, from Jersey, set three new national records in the 100m freestyle (1.16.32), 50m butterfly (40.11) and 50m breaststroke (44.13), while Anne Bourne, 59, of Camp Hill Edwardians, set a European and British record with her 800m freestyle time of 11.08.05.

Many of the swimming stars come back year upon year to compete, including one of the country’s most decorated competitors, Jane Asher.

Jane, 82, representing Kings Cormorants, Wimbledon, has set 75 masters world records in almost every discipline, over a quarter of a century.

"It is lovely to be back on the Island — something I look forward to each year. It is a lovely place with a much slower pace of life than in London, where I live. I have broken lots of records on the Island, at The Heights in Sandown."

But as well as the old guard, there were new faces celebrating. David Blackman and Bethany Jerram stormed to overall points victories in the 18 to 24 years age groups, winning trophies for their efforts.

Joan Kidd, IW Marlins Swim Club president, said: "It is good to see more younger swimmers taking part in the masters. Over the years, it has grown in popularity and has become more and more competitive."

Other trophy winners were Jacqueline Patel (Kings Cormorants) and Stan Vela (Ruislip and Northwood) who were named top female and top male swimmer respectively. Vela also won the Charles Ambler Memorial Trophy for top overall swimmer.

Ruislip and Northwood completed a great weekend by winning the team prize. West Wight Swimming Club were second and IW Marlins were third.

All the prizes, glass awards made by Paul Critchley of Diamond Isle Sculptured Glass, were presented by IW high sheriff, Mary Case.

• Pictures on our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk.

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