Exciting times for talented swimmer Samantha

Samantha Britton. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150129-182)
Samantha Britton. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150129-182)
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Samantha Britton got her year off to a flying start with a six-medal haul at the Fareham Nomads Winter Open meet.

The 13-year-old, from Horndean, came into the competition at Havant Leisure Centre in good form.

She had already banked county times in the freestyle 100m, 200m and 800m.

Her next target was the 400m and she smashed her personal best by a mammoth seven seconds, with a clocking of 5min 05.48sec to take silver and achieve the time she needed in the girls’ 13-year age group.

Two gold medals followed as Britton won the 50m freestyle with a time of 31.04 and the 100m individual medley, clocking 1.18.57.

She picked up a second silver in the 200m freestyle (2.26.36) and added bronze medals in the 100m freestyle (1.07.88) and the 50m butterfly (36.45).

Last year, Britton, who is British Filipino, competed at the 7th Iloilo Dinagyang National Age-Group Swimfest in the Philippines.

She picked up seven medals there and showed at the Nomads meet she is still riding the crest of a wave.

‘I’m very happy with my results,’ she said.

‘It was good. I didn’t really expect to get all the medals.

‘Since I came back from the Philippines I have progressed further.

‘I’ve got most of my county times now.’

It’s quite unusual for swimmers to compete so strongly from 50m through to 800m.

But Britton, who swims for Alton & District, relishes the challenge of adapting to each event.

‘I enjoy all of them,’ she added.

‘There isn’t a particular event I favour.

‘You have to pace it differently. It’s quite a lot to remember sometimes.

‘I need to work on that last 50m – to try to improve my sprints.’

The Fareham Nomads meet is one of the most popular local events.

Samantha’s dad, Karl, explained his daughter has close ties with the Nomads.

He said: ‘The Fareham Nomads meet is one we look forward to each year. It’s so friendly. The atmosphere is really good.

‘Samantha has done some swimming with Fareham Nomads.

‘They call her “a surrogate Nomad”.

‘We know all the coaches there. It’s a great club.

‘At this level now you get to know the other swimmers from the other clubs and it’s all very friendly.

‘But when they are competing, they are focused on what they have to do.’

Samantha’s dedication to training is clearly paying off, as her superb 400m improvement showed.

She’s also now got her sights set on bringing down her 50m time.

Karl added: ‘She did her club trials the night before the Nomads meet and didn’t get a county time in the 400m.

‘Then the first race at Havant was the 400m again.

‘She just went for it and took seven seconds off her time to get an automatic county qualification. It was incredible.

‘The 50m qualifying time is 30.40 and Sam has got 30.47 this season. She is so close to getting the full set.

‘That is the target now.

‘She will be going for that in Southampton on Sunday.’