Woodbridge swimmer Tom Beagley finishes sixth in national final

Tom Beagley of Deben Swimming Club

Tom Beagley of Deben Swimming Club - Credit: Contributed

Young swimmer Tom Beagley has returned from the National Championships in Sheffield as one of the top six athletes in his age group.

The 12-year-old, from Woodbridge, travelled to Ponds Forge with Deben Swimming Club head coach Nikki Merrill having gained his 100 metre breastroke national qualifying time at the East Region Age Groups Championships back in June.

And Beagley embraced the high level meet – he did not look phased at all in competing alongside the UK’s fastest.

He was entered at 1.21.00 and ranked 12th going into the competition. His heat saw him take a fantastic personal best with a time of 1.18.62 placing him seventh, making the 11-12yrs Final.

Merrill, coaching in her first national finals, said: “He did everything I asked him to and amongst the technical and tactical side of things the most important thing I asked him to do was to relax and enjoy the experience, we didn’t focus on the possibility of making a final.”

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The excitement and atmosphere of the final spurred Beagley on to achieve an outstanding sixth place with another PB in a time of 1.16.78.

Merrill said: “I knew he had more in him but was not expecting him to remain as in control as he did to produce that fantastic time, especially as he hadn’t experienced this level of competition before.

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“I am extremely proud of Tom and thank him for giving me this experience.”

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