The short course season was brought to a tremendous end in Sheffield as the many of the country’s top swimmers went into battle at the Winter National Championships.
With several of the GB Olympic team and some international swimmers also competing, it was time for the swimmers to see how the long haul of winter training had gone.
In the relaxed and festive atmosphere at Pond’s Forge some fast racing and incredible performances followed.
Carnforth Otter Josh Thompson (18) swam in six events over the four day competition, making six finals and producing eight personal best times across the heats and finals.
The competition began well with a PB in the heats of the 200 IM to secure a place in the A final and an opportunity to race alongside Olympic finalist Max Litchfield.
Withdrawing from the 100 breaststroke final to concentrate on the 200 IM, Josh rose to the occasion in the 200 IM final, producing another fantastic PB of 2.01.13 to finish in 6th position. The next day was the 100 freestyle, which saw Josh achieve a place in the B final and then swim a superb race to finish in fifth place with a PB of 50.08.
Next up, Josh’s two favourite events, 100 IM and 50 breaststroke. Two very strong heat swims secured two A final places in the evening session.
A blistering 55.58 PB in an incredible 100 IM battle won him a bronze medal, his time ranking as the third fastest ever for an 18 year old. Another PB of 28.29 in the 50 breaststroke final achieved an excellent eighth place finish.
The final day was the 200 freestyle, an event which Josh is really starting to enjoy. A very strong performance and a three second PB in the heats achieved an unexpected place in the B final. Finishing the week on a high, Josh managed to pull yet another PB out of the bag to finish in sixth place with a time of 1.49.22.