Walker-Hebborn secures place at Commonwealths

CHRIS Walker-Hebborn will represent Great Britain at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi later this year following a strong showing at the British Gas Swimming Championships.

The 19-year-old Team Ipswich swimmer earned his place on Team GB by claiming silver medals in the 200m backstroke (1:57.39) and 100m back (54.78) in Sheffield, while he was also the third English swimmer home in the 200m freestyle final (1:49.52).

The Commonwealth Games take place in India in October, but first the Bury St Edmunds teenager will be representing England at the European Championships, Hungary in August.

Walker-Hebborn made his senior international bow last year when finishing ninth in the 200m back (1:56.05) at the World Championships in Rome, Italy.

The teenager recently spent two years at the British Offshore Centre in Australia, but is now back in the UK training on a British Swimming programme at Bath University. He has, however, always continued to swim under the name of Team Ipswich in competition.

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Meanwhile, the Suffolk club had five other swimmers competing in Sheffield.

Lewis Coleman, 17, secured selection for the European Junior Championships with a great effort in the 200m individual medley in a new best time of 2:04.93.

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Coleman sneaked into the semi-final of the 100m breaststroke by finishing in 20th place in the heats (1:05.70), while he also set a best time in the heats of the 400m IM (4:32.99).

Elsewhere, Ryan Tomkins set a great new best time in the 400m free (4:08.56), while he also recorded a time of (16:38.66) in the 1500m free.

Jack Hollis was just off his best in the 200m butterfly (2:11.26) and also recorded a time of 2:00.26 in the 200m free, while Aaron Lynch competed in the 100m breast (1:09.92), the 100m free (54.98) and the 50m free (25.24).

Ryan Crouch made it through to the multi disability final in the 50m free to finish in ninth place with a best time of 28.32. He then dipped under the one minute barrier for the first time to win the bronze medal in the multi disability final of the 100m free (59.99).

Team Ipswich head coach Dave Champion said: “This was a championship that was about experience and application. We go away from here with a list of things we need to change and improve on if we want to stay competitive.

“We have a great bunch of young swimmers at Ipswich and we have to expose them to some fast swimming. That is what being here is all about, testing yourself and then making changes and adapting things so we can be better - and we will be for sure.”

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