Britain’s elite open water junior athletes headed to Hungary to compete at the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships last weekend.
The team of eight included Alice Dearing (featured in ‘Big Half’ last month) who finished fourth in the girls’ Junior (17-18 yrs) 7.5km race, completing the course in a time of 1:32.47, less than a second outside the medals.
In an exclusive interview with AquaZone, the 17-year-old Royal Wolverhampton swimmer talked us through her experience in Hungary
”I managed to lead well and was in a great position throughout the race. Leading from the front of the pack was the right decision because the others were being very physical and I could hear the officials blowing the whistle, signalling for them to spread out.
"The girls began to come past around half-way round the last lap and I went round the last turning buoy last of the front four. It was a cat and mouse game between myself and third place in the final straight. She was drafting off second place and I was parallel going into the finish. I can honestly say I've never tried harder in my life to secure a medal position.
"It was unfortunate to miss out by such a small margin but, as always, things are learned and overall I think the race went very well."
Ellena Jones, Swansea Aquatics, finished in 22nd place. Don’t miss our Spotlight video interview with Ellena.
Competing in the Youth (15-16 yrs) 5km races were Thomas Millburn and Ashley Hogg, who finished 10th and 17th respectively, and Holly Hibbott and Sophie Evans, finishing 15th and 18th respectively.
As well as the individual races, both age groups competed in 3km team events with the Junior team coming in 5th (Dearing, Archie Mitchell, Thomas Nelson) and the Youth team in 8th (Millburn, Hogg, Hibbott).