SWIMMING: O'Leary powers to British silver medal

Niall O'Leary, who won silver, with club coach Scott Farnell in Glasgow

Niall O'Leary, who won silver, with club coach Scott Farnell in Glasgow

First published in Sport

Abingdon Vale’s Niall O’Leary hit new heights when he won a silver medal in the British Gas Championships at the Tollcross International Centre, Glasgow.

The 17-year-old finished second in the men’s junior 200m backstroke final, behind City of Sunderland’s Adam Taylor.

Tollcross will host the Commonwealth Games this summer and the championships doubled up as trials for Glasgow 2014.

This swim now ranks O’Leary No 1 in the country for his age group.

His time of 2mins 5.73secs was a half a second improvement on his personal best.

O’Leary’s clubmate Mich-ael Esnouf, 17, from Combe, also had a successful weekend, coming sixth in his final.

He said: “It was a privilege to swim in the Common-wealth Games pool and I am extremely happy that I made the 100m breaststroke final.”

Esnouf also achieved a personal best of 1.06.27.

Head coach Scott Farnell said: “These type of competitions don’t build character, they reveal it, and both Abingdon boys have proven they have what it takes.”

City of Oxford’s leading performer was Emily Wood, 14, who finished fifth in the junior women’s under 200m breastroke final.

Wood clocked 2.39.38.

She was City’s only finalist, but Joe Canlan-Shaw broke the Oxfordshire & North Bucks men’s 100m backstroke county record.

He finished 14th overall in 56.73, while clubmate Fabian Whitbread equalled the men’s 200m breaststroke county record with a 2.18.79 clocking for 15th place.

Also competing were Alex Murphy (men’s 50m and 100m breaststroke) and Chris Currie (200m MC freestyle).

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