9th November 2010

Two Atlantis swimmers - Issy Dunlop and Bex Lobley - took part this weekend in the ASA British Gas South East Region Winter Championships at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth.  The Winter Regionals are held in the short course (25m) format, unlike the main long course Regionals  in May.

The pair - who both reached the Nationals for the first time this year - competed over the two days in the 50m, 100m and 200m breast.

First off was Bex in the 100m on the Saturday; and she recorded a great time time of 1.16.76 - knocking over 2 seconds off her personal best. Not to be outdone Issy shaved nearly a second off her PB, set at the English Schools finals last weekend, to touch in a time of 1.15.39 and qualify 4th fastest for the final.  In a tough final she improved on her seed place to come home in third place behind Sophie Elphick of Amersham and Chloe Bean of Leatherhead in a consistent time of 1.15.41.  This was enough to secure a bronze medal in the Ladies‘ Open Championship and a silver in the 16 & under Junior Championship - her first regional medals.

In the heats for the 50m breast on Sunday both girls achieved PBs - 36.22 for Bex and 35.16 for Issy to take her into a second final, where she finished out of the medal placings in another creditable time of 35.23.

But Issy and Bex saved the best till last in the 200m breast.  Swimming side by side in an exciting final heat, they matched each other stroke for stroke to finish a finger-tip apart, with Issy just edging it as the third fastest qualifier with Bex fourth fastest.  Issy’s time of 2.41.71 was a two-second improvement on her PB set two weeks‘ ago at Haslemere, while Bex’s time of 2.41.75 was a stunning 6 sec PB, making these the two fastest Sussex 200m swims this year.

Speaking after the race a happy Bex said: “Issy and I are close friends as well as training partners, and its great when we both have days like this when all the hard work in training comes out in race conditions”.

Issy added: “Bex and I started competitive swimming within months of each other and I think we have always spurred each other on.  We’re very aware though that there’s lots more hard work ahead if we want to compete at a higher level”.      

Further Information: Andy Lobley – 07510 710266