Four pupils from a Stubbington primary school narrowly missed out a national medal.
Amelia Cripps, Georgia Kennedy, Isobelle Kennedy and Georgina Taylor, all 11, finished fourth in the England Primary Schools’ Relay Championships girls’ 4x25m freestyle on Saturday.
The quartet, who attend Crofton Hammond Junior School, were denied bronze by 0.06sec at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield.
Cripps, the Kennedy twins and Taylor earned their berth in the competition by finishing second at the South East Championships in Guildford, after winning the Hampshire relay and medley crowns.
All four also represent Fareham Nomads. Despite being in different squads, coach Stewart Crowe tailored the fledgling talents’ sessions around their Sheffield bow in the build-up.
Sharron Kennedy, mum of Georgia and Isobelle, told of her and the quartet’s pride.
She said: ‘I’m incredibly proud – beyond proud.
‘Two of the girls competed last year. They did quite well and qualified for the regional round but we didn’t progress to Sheffield.
‘But this year we have done incredibly well and we’re so proud of them.
‘They all swim for Fareham Nomads. While they are in different squads, the club has got them together during training sessions so they could practise their relay takeovers – they’ve been incredibly supportive.
‘They missed out on bronze literally by a fingertip.
‘Nevertheless, they were incredibly chuffed to have got that far and had the opportunity to swim at Ponds Forge – it’s what Wembley is to a footballer.
‘It was an amazing experience and one that will live with them for a long time.’