West Suffolk duo Sam Bullingham and Myles Turner travel to open water championships in South Yorkshire

Sam Bullingham (centre, number 84) lines up for his open water swim

Sam Bullingham (centre, number 84) lines up for his open water swim - Credit: Archant

Rother Valley Country Park was the venue for the 2016 National Open Water Swimming Championships last Sunday.

Myles Turner in his open water race

Myles Turner in his open water race - Credit: Archant

A small delegation from West Suffolk Swimming club of Myles Turner (aged 16) and Sam Bullingham, 13, battled amongst the best open water swimmers in the country at the event in Rotherham.

The sun was shining for the 1.5km swim, with Bullingham up first competing in his first national competition.

The course consisted of 2 750m laps. Bullingham started off well for his second ever 1.5km swim, pacing it evenly the whole way round the course to finish 30th in the 13-year-old’s age group – a great result and fantastic experience for the teenager.

Next up was Turner in the 3km event.

Sam Bullingham during his open water swim

Sam Bullingham during his open water swim - Credit: Archant


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The afternoon race saw the buoys being pushed out to make it a 1km lap swum three times.

With the weather taking a slight turn for the worse, with some light rain and the ripples on the water turning into small waves, Turner got off to a strong start amongst the top 10 swimmers on the first lap.

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With a strong second lap he moved up through the places into third at one point, heading into the final 1km.

On the last lap, with a few swimmers making a break for it, Turner was still in the top six with four swimmers chasing down those in first and second.

It was a sprint for the finish in the last 300m of the race and Turner stormed to a fifth-placed finish, also a fantastic result.

Turner is now getting ready to switch to competing in the pool at both the British Summer Nationals Championships and the ASA National Championships over the next two weeks in Sheffield at Ponds Forge.

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