Swim duo reach national finals as Matthew strikes bronze

SWIMMERS Matthew Johnson and Kate Hutchinson turned in excellent displays to reach finals at the British Gas National Swimming Championships at the Olympic Aquatic Centre in London.

Matthew, 16, of Thornhill, won a bronze medal last Saturday as he clocked a personal best time of four minutes 16.53 seconds in the 400 metres Individual Medley final.

The championships double as the trials for this year’s Olympic Games, with two places available in each event, and Matthew’s time was just seven one hundredths of a second outside the Olympic qualifying time.

Matthew, a former Spen Valley Sports College student, also finished sixth in the 200m Butterfly final in 1.59.12 while on Wednesday evening he missed out on the 200m Individual Medley final as he finished 11th of the semi-finalists in 2.04.17.

Kate, 21, from Thornhill, finished seventh in Wednesday’s final of the 200m Butterfly in 2.13.48. She qualified after winning a swim-off with Swansea’s Libby Mitchell as they finished with the same time in Tuesday’s semi-finals.

Half an hour after the Butterfly final Kate was back in the pool in the 200m Breaststroke semi-finals. She produced a great effort but finished 12th of the 16 semi-finalists to miss out on the final.

Earlier in the week Kate, a former Heckmondwike Grammar School student, reached the semi-finals of the 200m Individual Medley and clocked 2.17.11.