Essex Winter Championships 2021 (Weekend 2)
*Results for this meet can be found at the bottom of this page.
Raheel Mahmood proved to be the Top Performer for Romford Town’s young squad at Essex Winter Open Age Group Championships last weekend at Basildon Sporting Village. Young Raheel, 14 helped himself to no fewer than 10. . . . .
gold medals and 2 silver medals for his age group swims, earning him the title of Top Senior Swimmer overall for all competitors at Basildon Sporting Village.
Head coach Gary Rogers saw plenty of gutsy swims and personal bests from his squad as Town earned 24 gold, 17 silver and 5 bronze medals overall while 4 swimmers earned qualification for the Swim England National Winter Championships taking place in Sheffield later this year.
Mahmood will be joined there by teammates Issy Jopson18, Holly Hagan17, and Connor McCarthy 16, as they compete against the best swimmers in England in the 25m short course event at Ponds Forge.
Saturday’s action began with a treble for Town in the men’s 400m Freestyle where Mahmood and McCarthy were joined by Jamieson McLaren, 15 who all won gold in their respective age groups.
Next up was the Women’s 400m IM where Rebecca Coogan 13, won herself a gold. Issy Jopson swam an exciting race, but just lost out to `Ironman World Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay gaining a silver, National qualification and a huge PB. Tierney Rooney 15, snatched a well deserved bronze.
In the Women’s 100m breaststroke there was a Romford golden double win with Holly Hagan, who swam strong to win gold along with Madeline McCormack, 18 who also won gold in her age group.
In the Men’s 50m breaststroke Ben Stringer 16, grabbed bronze. It wasn’t long before Mahmood was swimming again in a tough 200m Butterfly, this time smashing his PB and winning overall against senior swimmers as well as his own age group in a fast 2:12.10. He also won gold in his age group later on that afternoon in the 100m backstroke.
Town’s swimmers showed strong resilience and fitness levels throughout. In the 200m Freestyle Coogan got the gold and Jopson took a silver, both setting PBs in the process. Coogan later added silver in the 200m Backstroke In the evening session Junayna Ahmed, 18 freshly back from Tokyo where she represented Bangladesh, showed her versatility winning gold in the 50m Butterfly and silver in the 100m Freestyle.
Teammate Sophia Moule, 14 also grabbed a silver in the Butterfly sprint. Mahmood second session was just as fruitful winning gold in the 200 IM with McCarthy who taking a silver. Mahmood just missed out on breaking the 1 minute mark on the 100m Butterfly, but nevertheless bagged himself the gold. His sixth gold of the day came in the 200m breaststroke. Jack Caci, 15 won his first county bronze for Town in the 50m Freestyle.
Sunday came and the women got Romford off to a good start again in the middle distance events. In 400m Freestyle Both Coogan and Jopson were clear winners with golds, both in PB times. Teammate Ahmed won the silver in a 1-2 with Jopson for Romford. Tilly Bunn 14, had a great swim to win silver in the same event.
In the tough 400 IM Mahmood started where he left off with another gold and another PB. McCarthy got another silver and a PB. However, later they both won gold in 200m Freestyle.
Holly Hagan just missed out on gold in the 50m and 200m breaststroke winning silver in both. Mahmood won silver in the 100m. Jopson added another gold with a great swim in the 200m Butterfly, getting another 1-2 for Town with Ahmed winning the silver. Rooney got her second medal with a silver in her age group.
The last session of the Championships began with the splash and dash 50m Butterfly for men and 50m Freestyle for the women. Town picked up another gold, again by Mahmood and a silver from Moule her second of the meet.
Jopson’s last swim after a hectic but very successful weekend came with a gold in 200m IM to make it a grand total of 3 golds and 2 silvers over the County meet, Coogan won the bronze in the same event and the 200m breaststroke, making her total 3 golds a silver and 2 bronzes. Ahmed’s last swim, the 100m fly won her gold, her second of the weekend along with 2 silvers.
The boys weren’t done yet Denis Drelev swam a great race to win bronze in the 100m IM, while Mahmood snatched silver in the 100m Freestyle. There was a golden double for Town in the 200m Backstroke for Mahmood and teammate McCarthy for a brilliant total haul for both of them, including 3 golds and 2 silvers for McCarthy.
Romford’s swimmers will have another stab at top competition next month in the London Regional Winter Championships at LAC Stratford, and at there own meet, which will be held at the newly built Harrow Lodge Pool.
Click HERE for Weekend 2 results.