Golden-girl Freya leads medal haul

Freya Rayner.
Freya Rayner.
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CITY of Sunderland’s annual May Open Gala proved to be a sell-out event, with competitors travelling from all over the North of England and Scotland.

This Level 1 gala provided one of the few remaining opportunities this season for swimmers to gain much-coveted qualifying times for entry into the National and British Championships.

The standard of competition was high and over the weekend 24 All-Comers records were broken – including one by Sunderland’s Freya Rayner (14) who took the 50m freestyle in a time of 28.05 seconds.

Many of the club’s swimmers from the Performance and Age Group Development Squads were in action with the club’s relay teams dominating both the girls and boys events.

In the 4x100m medley, Sunderland Girls A Team (Freya Rayner, Lida Abrie, Emma Sinclair and Jennifer Tatters) and B Team (Lucy Walton, Jodi Bunker, Jennifer Sharp and Gabrielle Burdess) took first and second places, while the Boys A Team (James Burns, Callum Reveley, Jack Tallentire and Andrew Markham) finished second.

In the 4x100m freestyle event, the Girls Sunderland A Team (Jodi Bunker, Lucy Walton, Freya Rayner and Gabrielle Burdess) and the Boys Sunderland A Team (Joe Middleton, Callum Reveley, James Burns and Adam Taylor) both took first places.

Two of Sunderland’s swimmers gained national qualifying times – Jodi Bunker (13) in the 800m freestyle with a time of 9:36.16 minutes and James Burns (15) in the 1500m freestyle. James also qualified for the open water event with his time of 16:46.43 minutes.

In addition to success in the relay events, the club won 49 individual medals – 13 gold medals, 22 silver and 13 bronze medals.

Gold medallists were: Freya Rayner, Adam Taylor, Lucy Walton, Gabrielle Burdess, Callum Reveley, James Burns, Thomas Burns and Lida Abrie.

Freya won four gold medals in the 50m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly events and in the 100m backstroke, silver in the 100m butterfly and bronze in the 200m backstroke.

Adam was first in the 100m butterfly and 50m backstroke.

Lucy won seven medals – gold in the 400 IM and 400m freestyle and silver in the 200m freestyle, IM, butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke events.

Gabrielle won six medals with a gold medal from the 200m freestyle, silvers in the 200m IM, 400m IM and freestyle and bronze in the 100m and 800m freestyle.

Callum Reveley was first in the 400m freestyle, second in the 100m and 200m freestyle and third in the 200m butterfly.

James set three club records (400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle) and won gold in the 1500m freestyle, silver in the 400m freestyle and bronze in the 400m IM.

Thomas Burns won the 1500m freestyle, setting a new personal best time, while Lida won gold in the 50m breaststroke.

Winning silver medals were: Jodi Bunker, Jack Tallentire, Joe Middleton, Ashlyn Liddle, Andrew Markham and Jay Whitehead.

Jodi finished second in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events and in the 400m IM.

Jack won double silver in the 50m butterfly and 200m butterfly and broke the one minute barrier in the 100m freestyle for the first time.

Joe finished second in the 50m backstroke and Ashlyn was second in the 100m freestyle.

Andrew won his silver in the 50m backstroke while Jay was second in the 800m freestyle.

The bronze medallists were: Jennifer Tatters, Emma Sinclair, Jennifer Sharp, Joseph Pomfret, and Eve Larsen. Jennifer scooped third position in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events.

Emma and Jennifer were both third in the 200m butterfly events in their respective age groups. Joseph finished third in the 1500m freestyle in a greatly improved time and Eve won bronze in the 200m breast stroke.