Dolphin team up with Girondins de Bordeaux at 32nd Grand Prix Arena
Event: 32eme International Grand Prix Arena Des Girondins De Bordeaux
Venue: Piscine JUDAÏQUE (50m)
Date: Vendredi 8, Samedi 9 et Dimanche 10 février 2008
Grand Prix Arena Des Girondins De Bordeaux
Swindon Dolphin teamed up with French Club, Girondins de Bordeaux, for the first time, to compete in the International Grand Prix Arena Des Girondins De Bordeaux over the weekend at the Judaique Swimming Complex. Invited by Club President, Messieur Jean Boiteux – France’s only ever male Olympic swimming gold medallist – the four Dolphins were able to get in valuable long course preparation before the Olympic Trials in eight weeks time, in this prestigious international competition which attracted considerable French national media coverage and boasted an all-star field of world record holders, and Olympic & World Championship medallists.
Chief Coach, Andi Manley, lead the way in the pool qualifying for his 15th consecutive National Championships with outstanding performances in the 50m and 100m freestyle. He clocked 24.85 and 53.78 respectively to claim a top 15 place in both swims and also finished 13th in the 100m butterfly.
Mark Tanner, competing in his first ever international meet, hit season best times in the 50m butterfly and in the 100m freestyle in which he was matched up against the 2007 World Championship medallist, Julien Sicot.
Chris Jones and Cathal Westman brought home the medals in the breaststroke events. British Champion, Jones collected a 50m bronze medal and had 2 fourth place finishes in the Senior Championships while Westman took all 3 breaststroke golds in the Junior Championships.
French Champion and Olympic & World bronze medallist, Hughes Dubuscq, secured the 3 senior breaststroke events with Jones finding himself in the next lane as Dubuscq raced to the fastest 100m breaststroke time in the world this year – 60.84 seconds. Jones said afterwards that “it was the quickest race I’ve been in to date and I was pleased that I was competitive”.
Westman, also experiencing his first international meet, enjoyed the celebrity of signing some autographs for local young swimmers but was more excited about been kissed on both cheeks by the ladies presenting the medals on the podium.
On Sunday evening, the Dolphin quartet joined forces to represent Bordeaux in the 4X50m medley relay. Tanner led off with a personal best in the backstroke, Jones followed with a blistering breaststroke, Westman dipped under 30 seconds for the first time in the fly and Manley anchored the team home in style to a respectable fourth place behind teams from Paris , Montpellier and the winners – the Greek National Team.
Jones, who also swam in December’s Dutch Open Swim Cup in Eindhoven , was “delighted with the high standard of the competition” which gave him “another chance to race against top class opposition”. He added “this was a great opportunity for Swindon Dolphins to build links with a foreign team and we look forward to hosting them later in the year”. >
50m Brs – Dubuscq (1st) with Jones (3rd)
Source: Swindon Dolphin Press Team