Fabulous performances and medal haul for St Albans Special Olympics swimmers

Some the St Albans Special Olympics swimmers with their medals.

Some the St Albans Special Olympics swimmers with their medals. - Credit: Archant

Special Olympic swimmers from St Albans certainly caused a splash before sport was shutdown due to coronavirus.

A squad battled other clubs and groups from across the country at the Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield and came away with a sackful of medals and superb performances.

Coach Geoff Wood said: “Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit every day around the world through the transformative power and joy of sport for people with intellectual disabilities.

“And it was a superb evening of racing and enjoyment from St Albans.”

Alison Preston set the tone in the first event of the night by winning the 100m freestyle, 14 seconds quicker than her previous best time.

It was one of three medals she picked up, adding the silver in the 25m freestyle, ahead of team-mates Jessica Cole in third and Emily Thomas, before claiming a bronze in the 25m butterfly, both again swam quicker than ever before.

Philip Nichols also took gold in the 100m freestyle while Martin Hodgson picked up the award for most improved as he went some 30 seconds quicker than his entry time.

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Charlie Binks continued the medal haul with a two bronzes while there were silvers for Peter East and Ryan Dimaio in their respective 25m freestyle races and Paras Shah.

Stephen Thurgood’s second race brought him a bronze, the same reward as Ellie Brindley achieved in the 50 freestyle.

The top step of the podium was graced by Mark Johnson, Joe Mackie and Rowland, the former also adding a silver and bronze later on, while Hodgson’s return to the pool saw him edge out Michael Thurgood in a battle for silver and bronze.

In the 25m breaststroke Hindley took gold with a strong swim while Cole dropped almost two seconds for the bronze in her category.

Thomas then stormed to victory in her 25m backstroke.