Excellent Crown Pools atmosphere is adding to exciting racing at county championships
- Credit: Su Anderson
The second weekend of action at the Suffolk County Championships lived up to the heights of the first weekend.
Swimmers returned to Crown Pools in their quests for medals, regional qualifying times and places in finals with many taking part in multiple events.
Sarah Elmer, Suffolk County Amateur Swimming Associaiton (SCASA) championship secretary and president elect, said the first weekend (February 13/14) had seen some great racing complemented by a great atmosphere.
“We had finals last week where people were swimming faster in the finals than in the heats and some really great swims all round,” she said.
“I know a lass from Newmarket put a claim in for a record from last weekend.
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“We’ve had hiccups with technical things and with warm-ups but on the whole everyone’s getting on with getting it done because it’s all about the swimmers at the end of the day.”
With changes to the national ASA’s competition structure the county championships this year have been moved to February from their traditional March dates, but Mrs Elmer said after the experiences of the first weekend of racing this did not seem to have had a negative effect on competitors.
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She said: “The only thing we’re struggling with is illness.
“We’ve lost several people this afternoon, five heats across four different events.
“It could just be that being a bit earlier in the year people still have coughs and colds.”
Talking about the sessions on February 20 and 21 Mrs Elmer added: “It’s been as good as the first weekend.
“We had some great finals last night (Saturday 20), a lovely atmosphere.
“It was really exciting racing, some races were won by a finger touch.”
One impact of the national changes is an increase in the number of finals, with younger age group swimmers having more opportunity to qualify.
“We’ve tried to keep the focus of the finals on the younger ones,” Mrs Elmer explained.
“It’s about keeping the little ones interested so when they’re a bit longer in the tooth they’re less bothered by swimming in finals.
“With fewer finals in previous years the youngest ones haven’t had the chance to do finals at all.”
She added the atmosphere in Crown Pools had again contributed to some top racing.
“It’s been really, really busy and the guys from West Suffolk on the desk have been first class.
“They’ve done a brilliant job at keeping things moving along and entertained, along with Will Boosey on Saturday.”
This weekend sees the final two sessions of the competition on Sunday only, including the knock-out skins events and the team relays.