Havant proved masters in the capital

Paul Wickland, left, and Lynne Jones, far right, was among the medallists for Havant & Waterlooville
Paul Wickland, left, and Lynne Jones, far right, was among the medallists for Havant & Waterlooville
Havant & Waterlooville swimming club raised money with their channel challenge. Picture: Jonathan Stock

Havant & Waterlooville stars go to great lengths

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Havant & Waterlooville Swimming Club’s masters team celebrated 12 podium appearances at the Barnet Copthall Masters Sprint Meet.

A five-strong squad walked away from north London with five golds, three silvers and four bronzes.

Coach Graham Pople praised their work ethic over the summer.

He said: ‘Credit to them all, they chose not to have a break over the summer and it’s paid off.

‘They were all focused on these events as a team of swimmers, and it was a fantastic way to build up to the regionals.

‘You’re always pleasantly surprised with results like this because there’s always going to be an element of luck involved.’

Tina-Marie Parkin completed a hat-trick of wins in the 50m backstroke, 25m freestyle and 50m breaststroke, while Lynne Jones also won the 25m freestyle in her age-group category.

There was team success, too, with the mixed relay line-up achieving first place in the 200m freestyle relay and third place in the 200m medley.

Pople said: ‘The relay results show that it was a team effort, the whole swimming club was there to watch them and it was a great performance.’

Parkin admitted she was surprised to seal her hat-trick of victories but was thrilled with the team’s achievements.

She said: ‘I didn’t really expect to win three times, so that was a bit of a shock, but we’re absolutely delighted.

‘We’re a small club but we’re doing so well and that helps encourage more people to join us.

‘When you travel that far up to a meet you want to do well and I think the adrenaline travelled with us!’

Karen Blanchard was second only to Parkin the 50m breaststroke and finished third in the 25m freestyle.

Graham Cawte and Paul Wickland swam in the men’s events, Wickland finishing with a silver in the 100m breaststroke and Cawte with a bronze in the 25m freestyle.

The team can now prepare for the National Masters at Ponds Forge in Sheffield later this month.

Parkin also revealed that, along with Jones and Blanchard, she had recorded a qualifying time for the FINA World Masters Championships, taking place in Riccione, Italy, next year.