Duo ranked as top two swimmers in the UK

Kieran Bird and Tom Thornley
Kieran Bird and Tom Thornley

Bicester Blue Fins duo, Kieran Bird and Tom Thornley, are now ranked as the top two 14-year-old swimmers in the UK.

Following success in the relay events in the Oxfordshire & North Bucks County Swimming Championships, Bicester swimmers have been competing in the first individual races – the long-distance events.

Fourteen-year-old Kieran was the standout performer and is now ranked as the best 400m freestyle swimmer in the country in his age group having picked up back-to-back gold medals in both 400m events. His times also mean he’s qualified for the national swimming championships in Sheffield this Summer.

He’ll be joined at nationals by teammate Tom, who won silver in both events.

Also winning gold was 11-year-old Freddie Ashley-Sparks, who won both 400m events, and 14-year-old Ellie Falkner, while Lottie Wynne-Jones collected silver. There were bronze medals for Maddie Powell, Tabitha Watkins and Oliver Inness.

Blue Fins head coach Struan McNeil said: “Not only were PBs falling all over the place, 13 club records were broken and a whole host of regional qualifying times obtained.

“It’s a sign of how much this club is developing when we’re home to the number one and two ranked 14-year-olds in the whole country in Kieran Bird and Tom Thornley, and for both of them to achieve national qualifying times at this point in the season is brilliant.”

The championships resume on March 8.