Batten leads the way in stunning Masters debut

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CITY of Sunderland enjoyed a tremendous day at the Open Northumberland & Durham Masters Gala, competing against teams from across the region and Yorkshire.

In all, the Wearsiders won 33 medals – 22 golds, seven silvers and four bronzes.

Coach Glen Batten was the star of the meet, leading by example in his first Masters Gala – winning every event he entered in the 25-29 years category for a haul of eight victories.

He completed a freestyle hat-trick in the 25m, 50m and 100m races, won three backstroke golds over the same distances and also won the 25m butterfly and 25m breaststroke.

Graeme Shutt, in the 60-64 section, landed six golds, winning the 25m and 50m backstroke, 50m freestyl, 100m medley, 25m breaststroke and 25m butterfly, and adding silvers in the 50m breaststroke and 50m butterfly.

Conor Crozier, in the 18-24 category, won five – doubling up in the 50m and 100m freestyle and 50m and 100m backstroke, plus the 100m medley. He also took a silver in the 25m freestyle.

In the 50-54 group, Tom Doughty won the 25m and 50m freestyle events, added silvers in the 100m and 400m freestyle and took bronzes in the 25m butterfly and 100m medley.

Neil Shutt took gold in the 35-39 section’s 50m breaststroke, landed silvers in the 25m breaststroke and 25m freestyle and added bronzes in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

The relay teams stormed to victory, impressively winning both the 200m medley and 200m freestyle races.