Bicester swim duo impress at national championships

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Youngsters Kieran Bird and Tom Thornley became the first swimmers in Bicester Blue Fins history to compete at the National Age Group Swimming Championships that took place last week.

This year has been the most successful in the club’s history, and it was rounded off in fine style with both Kieran and Tom picking up gold medals and becoming Regional champions, which meant they qualified for the National Championships.

Following the successes in the pool in June, both Kieran and Tom were put on a structured performance programme to ensure they were as prepared as they could possibly be for the National Championships that were staged at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield.

And it seemed to work as Tom opened up the Championships with a personal best time of 1.05.85 minutes in the 100m backstroke that was good enough to rank him 16th in the country and the fastest U13 boy in the region.

Kieran also started in fine form with an unbelievable 200m fly heat, clocking 2.17.50 to rank him as the fastest British competitor into the final and third overall. After a tight final, Kieran finished second thanks to another PB of 2.15.96 to claim a silver medal.

Tom’s second event, the 100m freestyle, was the most competitive event, but the Bicester swimmer took nearly two seconds off his best time to finish fifth overall, before both Kieran and Tom made the final of their last events, producing further PB performances.

Head coaches Craig and Kirsten Pankhurst said: “What both these boys have achieved this season has been remarkable. Their dedication to achieve their best is without question. We are looking forward to coaching Kieran and Tom next season and building on their successes this season.

“They have been an inspiration to the entire club, and their success will breed further success for the swimmers and the club as a whole.”

If you would like information about Bicester Blue Fins, contact honorary secretary, Mandy Bird, at