Guernsey Swimming Club swimmer Sarah Whitchurch travelled to Ponds Forge in Sheffield where they were hosting the British Para Swimming International Meet which was part of the 2018 world series. The best of the British Para swimmers who met the qualifying standards competed Nationally in their individual events alongside the world series. The competition was spread over four days with heats in the morning and finals in the late afternoon.
Sarah who is classified as a S5 swimmer for freestyle and backstroke, SB4 for breaststroke qualified to swim in five events. Day one for Sarah was the 100m freestyle continuing to improve all the time she put in a strong performance to finish in a new personal best time of 1.51.75. Although Sarah put in a good swim in the 100m breaststroke finishing just under her best long course time she was disqualified on a technicality.
Swimming in the 50m freestyle on day two Sarah again put in a great swim finishing in another personal best time of 50.72 with her point score placing Sarah 23rd out of 41 multi classified swimmers. Point are gained by all swimmer in all classification categories using a system that compares their time to the world record time in each individual class which means that the fastest swimmer does not automatically win the event but the swimmer with the highest points does.
Sarah swam in the 200m freestyle national final a little disappointed with her swim finishing in 4.12.71 quicker than her entered time but Sarah had swam quicker in the South East Regional a month earlier. In the 50m backstroke national final Sarah finished just outside her personal best in 58.25 Placing first by time and 2nd overall in points.
The event proved to be a great opportunity for the Guernsey Swimming Club swimmer to be part of a high quality swimming event and the chance to watch the British Para elite battle it out against some of the best in the World, where several new world records were set.