Portsmouth Northsea chief lauds '˜astonishing' juniors

Henry Halloran-Day took home 11 gold medals and one silver as he dominated the 13-year-old age group at the Hampshire Championships, writes Tom Bonnett.

Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 7:00 pm
Portsmouth Northsea duo Henry O'Halloran-Day and Oliver Kettle

The Portsmouth Northsea swimmer medalled in all 12 of his events and subsequently qualified for the southern regionals later in the year as the best in the county at his age group.

He clambered to gold in multiple freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly events.

Halloran-Day won nine individual events and was only denied a clean sweep by Rushmoor Royals’ Charlie Curran when he was beaten by a 0.1sec in the 50m freestyle final.

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The starlet was also part of two relay teams that were victorious in the 4x50m freestyle and 4x50m individual medley.

Portsmouth Northsea chairman Charlotte Rudd said: ‘Henry has had a super championships and highlights the fabulous start we have made to this year’s competition.

‘We are absolutely delighted with all the performances from our swimmers – with a massive amount of personal-best swims and some simply astonishing results.’

Former world champion Katy Sexton features among a star-studded list of Northsea swimmers who have graced the international stage.

And the current crop will no doubt have ambitions to follow in the footsteps of the Portsmouth club’s most famous alumni.

Halloran-Day’s team-mate Oliver Kettle swam a 25.6sec race in the heats and 25.75 in the finals of the 50m freestyle – winning in the 14-year-old age group a full second ahead of his fastest Hampshire rival.

That result was just one of his seven gold medals across the competition.

Kettle has previously boasted the fastest time in Britain in his age group for the event.

And the gold medal swim at Waterlooville Leisure Centre last weekend ranks him as the third fastest in the nation this season.

He will be eyeing the podium at the nationals in Sheffield later this year.

Rudd added: ‘The results from the swimmers are a fabulous achievement for our junior performance coach Lee Baldwin, who trains Henry and Oliver.

‘Lee has supported me immensely as chairman this year, stepping up and taking on a lot of management at the club.’

In the girls’ events, Collette Guyett-Smith medalled six times across three age groups. The 12-year-old won gold in the 400m individual medley and bagged a silver against girls two years her senior in the 100m backstroke.

The 15 to 18 age groups are in action this weekend as the Hampshire Championships conclude at the Mountbatten Centre.

Rudd added: ‘I’m really looking forward to seeing our senior performance swimmers compete – especially as we had fantastic new starting blocks installed last week.’

Click here to our round-up from the opening two weekends of Hampshire Championships action.