Gold rush for Burns brothers

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BROTHERS Thomas and James Burns set the standard for City of Sunderland swimmers with gold medal-winning performances in the 1,500m freestyle event at the Chester-le-Street Junior meeting.

Thomas (12) touched home in 18.36.53, while 14-year-old James won in 16.51.73.

Andrew Markham also chipped in with a silver medal in the 13-year-old race.

The girls, swimming in the 800m distance event, then went on to bag a greater haul of medals.

Beth Nicholson struck silver in the 11-year-old event, while Lauren Patterson led a clean sweep for the 12-year-olds taking gold with a time of 9.39.51, followed by Gabrielle Burdess (silver) and Jodi Bunker (bronze).

In the 13-year age group, Laura Taylor topped the podium after a 9.37.31 finish, followed by silver medallist Jessica Thompson. A further one-two was secured by 14-year-olds Lucy Ellis (gold in 9.04.51) and Lucy Walton (silver).

Thomas Burns then went on to further medal success in the shorter distance events taking gold medals in the 200m freestyle (2.20.08), 400m freestyle (4.50.40), 200m backstroke (2.37.63) and 100m individual medley (1.18.15). He also took bronze in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly events.

Beth Nicholson (11) won an outstanding total of ten medals with golds in the 400m freestyle (5.06.16) and 50m backstroke (35.75), silvers in the 50m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 200m breaststroke, 200m butterfly and 100m individual medley and a bronze in the 200m individual medley. Gabrielle Burdess (12) also followed up her 800m success with a gold medal in the 200m breaststroke (2.58.66) and silver medals in the 200 and 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley races.

Joseph Pomfret performed strongly in the 11-year age group with a hat-trick of gold medals from the 50m freestyle (31.43), 50m backstroke (36.85) and 200m backstroke (2.44.81) events, followed up with 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m individual medley silver medals and 400m freestyle and 50m breaststroke bronze medals.

William Robinson (12) won the 200m backstroke and 200m individual medley silvers as well as bronze in the 100m individual medley event, while 10-year-old Ben Hutchinson won a double bronze with medals from the 50m freestyle and 200m individual medley events.

Eve Larsen (11) bagged a gold in the 50m breaststroke (42.74), silver in the 400m freestyle and bronze in the 200m backstroke, while Bethany Star Cooper won the 50m breaststroke silver medal.

Sisters Natalya and Jennifer Sharp also chipped in with further medals – Jennifer taking the 12-year-old 200m butterfly gold (2.43.73) and Natalya the 10-year-old 200m breaststroke bronze.