ANDERSON AND THWAITES SET GOLD STANDARD
Emma Anderson and Geoff Thwaites were the pick of the bunch as City of Cambridge's masters swimmers enjoyed a successful National Championships in Sheffield this weekend. The duo claimed six gold medals between them as the squad recorded their best ever results at this level with 18 podium finishes.
Anderson was the team's spearhead, collecting an impressive haul of three gold, two silver and two bronze medals. Competing in the 30-34 age group, she carved 3 seconds off her lifetime best to retain her title in the gruelling 200m butterfly in 2:35.73 and repeated the feat with golds in the 100m event and 200m Individual Medley. Not content with that she also secured runners-up spots in the 400m and 100m freestyles and a third placed finish in the 50m butterfly. She then teamed up with Cat Dobson, Ruth Brown and Sarah Chamberlain to snatch a further bronze in the 120 years 4x50m freestyle relay.
Returning after a 17 year break from masters competition, Thwaites also claimed a hat trick of titles. Swimming in the 55-59 years age group, he opened with gold in the 100m breaststroke in a time of 1:19.62, just 0.2s outside the British record and enough to narrowly pip team-mate Phil Robinson, who took silver in 1:20.11. That was swiftly followed by a second win in the 200m event, again just outside the British standard, and a first place finish in the 400m freestyle. He also added a silver medal for the 200m individual medley, beaten only by a World Masters Record from Hadrian Masters' Alex Mills. Meanwhile son Ian, competing in the 25-29 category, also enjoyed podium finishes with silver in the 50m freestyle to add to a bronze in the 50m butterfly.
Elsewhere there were further medal successes for Robinson, who took a second silver in the 50m breaststroke in 36.00, Dobson who collected the 25-29 years bronze in the 50m backstroke and Andrea Viola who was third in the 200m breaststroke for the 40-44 years age group. There was also a podium spot for the men's relay squad, with Thwaites and Robinson teaming up with Paul James and John Cochrane to claim silver in the 200 years medley relay.
The overall medal tally of 6 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze left coach Stu Taylor delighted with the way his charges responded at the most important competition of the year. "There was a fantastic spirit in the squad and that translated into the performances in the pool" he said. "The results reflect the squad's hard work in training and everyone swam brilliantly."