Britton ready to create her own Thrilla in Manila

Samantha Britton
Samantha Britton

Ladies all at sea take on marathon swim challenge

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Samantha Britton is preparing for her next big challenge after earning a place in the Philippine Speedo National G-League Long Course Championships.

The talented swimmer, from Horndean, has achieved the qualifying times needed in eight events.

She will fly out on July 3, with the competition on July 14 to July 17 at Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool, Manila.

The venue is close to where the legend Muhammad Ali famously fought Joe Frazier in one of boxing’s epic contests in 1975.

It will be Britton’s second big swimming occasion in the Philippines.

In 2014, she competed in the 7th Iloilo Dinagyang National Age-Group Swimfest, securing seven medals.

Now the 14-year-old, who is British Filipino and swims for Alton, will have a reunion with her friends at the Philippines club Iloilo Sea Warriors.

She’ll be training again under head coach Renold ‘Enot’ Dutchilla, who helped her a lot in 2014 and has kept a close eye on her progress.

Then she will go on to compete in the national championships.

For Britton it will be her biggest competition so far.

She said: ‘I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again.

‘At the Sea Warriors it is like a family. Everyone is extremely close.

‘My coach there is really good, he taught me so much and helped me improve.

‘I want to do the best I can and meet as many people as I can while I’m out there.’

Proud dad Karl is delighted to see his daughter achieving one of her big ambitions at such an early stage in her swimming career.

The ultimate target for her is the Southeast Asian Games – an event of similar stature to the Commonwealth Games.

Making nationals at such a young age is a big boost on the road to realising that goal.

Karl said: ‘It’s crazy. We never thought about the nationals at this stage.

‘It was a goal for the future and we didn’t expect it this year.

‘This will be the cream of the cream and Sam has stepped up her training already.

‘It is going to be tough. She will be in the 15 to 17-year age group so you could have some swimmers who turned 17 in January – she will be up against it.

‘Sam is super-motivated and she receives great support from her school, Horndean Technology College, where she is doing very well.

‘This is the first part of the journey towards the Southeast Asian Games.’

Samantha learned her trade at Havant before moving on to Alton and is competing in the Hampshire Championships over three weekends.

Karl added: ‘Havant started the ball rolling.

‘Then her coach in the Philippines put down all the techniques.

‘Now at Alton she is coached by Róbert Turóczy, who is getting her ready for the nationals.

‘Without him, Samantha would not be at this point in her career.’