Amelie Blocksidge continued her incredible breakthrough year on the international stage as she took gold at the European Junior Open Water Championships in Corfu, on a weekend where several other British swimmers impressed on the Greek island.
The seven-strong team took to the competition off the back of some sensational performances across the European Junior Swimming Championships, the Commonwealth Youth Games and the European Youth Olympic Festival over the preceding months.
Blocksidge followed in the same vein to open the three-day competition in style – bringing the Women’s 14-15 5km event home to take the gold by over a minute from Hungary’s Napsugar Magy, who took the silver medal.
After taking medals at the European Junior Championships and European Youth Olympic Festival, the 14-year-old put in a dominant display, looking good value for her win as her City of Salford teammate Katie Lee was involved in a battle of her own throughout the race, before finishing in 21st.
“I was a bit surprised (at leading by such a margin)”, said Blocksidge when speaking to European Aquatics following the race.
“I thought I would have been in a pack, but it happened the other way. This gold medal means a lot, I’m really happy that being in a European event I’m topping my age-group.”
The boys’ event also had British representation, with Benjamin Ross battling through in what was a fierce field to come home in 26th place.
Ella Dyson was the other British athlete to come close to the medals, as she put in a brazen effort against the eventual medal winners to touch the pads in fourth place for the Women’s 18-19 10km event.
With the podium places always in doubt right the way through to the final few strokes, the 19-year old fought valiantly before ultimately coming in just behind Hungary’s Mira Szimcsak, with the athlete also only 17 seconds off the eventual winner.
In the men’s category, Sean McCann was involved in a battle of his own to make headway in a congested pack throughout the event. With the 18-year-old towards the back of the field with the race taking shape, he did well to make inroads on the chasing pack before recording a respectable 20th-place finish.
The Women’s and Men’s 16-17 7.5km event on the second day saw the rest of the British athletes competing, with Lucy Fox coming off the better of a close finish with Greece’s Aikaterini Chroni to see herself touch in 23rd place, with Samuel Williams unfortunately suffering a DNF in the men’s event.
Click here for the full results from the event.
Image Credit: European Aquatics/Istvan Derencsenyi.