Bronze medal glory for local lad Matthew Wylie

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LOCAL swimmer Matthew Wylie has tasted international medal glory for the first time, scooping a bronze for Great Britain.

Matthew, taking part in the British International Disability Swimming Championships at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge, finished third in the 400m freestyle, a result that took him to eighth place in the world rankings for the S9 classification.

Matthew said: “I am really pleased with my performances.

“It’s a little bit daunting lining-up on the blocks with Olympic champions like Jonathan Fox and Sasha Kindred – but I just tried to stay focused.”

With strong opposition from Japan, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany and the Ukraine, Matthew competed in all seven Paralympic events, recording personal best times in all but the 200m individual medley.

A total of 138 swimmers took part in the 100m freestyle event, where Matthew was the sole British representative in his heat. The event was eventually won by world record holder Andres Esteves of Brazil in 52.19. 

Overall, the swimmers shattered a series of records, with 15 British, eight European, two pan-American, one Asian and six world records being broken during the competition.

H City of Sunderland’s junior swimmers took second place in the latest round of the Durham and District Diddy League, held in Durham’s Freemans Quay Pool.

Top performers were the city’s 12-year-old girls, with team victories for Amy Henshaw, Jodi Bunker, Lauren Patterson, Jennifer Sharp and Jay Whitehead in the medley and freestyle relay events.

Jodi Bunker also sealed an individual win in the 50m breaststroke and Lauren Patterson triumphed in the 50m freestyle.

The 12-year-old boys – William Robinson, James Brewerton, Thomas Burns and Tom Whelan – also chipped in with victory in the freestyle relay, while 11-year-olds Joseph Pomfret and Beth Nicholson took maximum points for the city with respective victories in the 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke.

In the 11-year-old medley relay events, the boys – Matthew Walker-Smith, Matthew Philips, Callum Dann, and Joseph Pomfret took second spot.

The girls – Beth Nicholson, Lola Tindle, Jazmine Moss and Bethany Star-Cooper – took third place.

Third-place finishes were also secured by the nine-year-old boys – Joshua Wright, Joe Whelan, Joe Marsh and Luke Cullen – in the medley and freestyle relay races.

The nine-year-old girls – Jessica Thornton, Jennifer Shovlin, Pardis Farahi and Laura Smith – chipped in with a good performance in the medley relay event.

The club’s 10-year-old competitors (Alisha Ballantine, Aimee Hansen, Molly Robinson, Charlotte Jurgens, Natalya Sharp, Stone Wallace, JJ Robbins, Ben Hutchinson and Harry Staines) also performed well in the individual and team events.

Third round table: Tynemouth 255ts, Sunderland 191, Stockton 181, Middlesbrough 157, Newburn 154, Alnwick 103.