Felix rocks capital with medal surge

DELTING Dolphins swimmer Felix Gifford took Edinburgh by storm at the weekend by winning the overall best 14-year-old boy award at the Portobello prize meet.

Felix achieved more points than anybody in the other age groups which included international swimmers, taking home eight gold medals, three silver and breaking five Shetland age group records and one Shetland open record.

On Saturday morning Felix swam the 50m breaststroke in which he achieved a PB. In his second event, the 100m butterfly, he won his first gold in a new 13/14 Shetland record time of 1.03.51 (1.02.1 short course). He then won silver in the 200m freestyle.

Felix’s last event of the morning caused lots of excitement as he paced the first 350m, settling down to a good third place. But on the last 50m he changed gear pass the second placed swimmer, completing the final length in under 31 seconds to give him the silver in a new Shetland age group and open record time of 4.30.68 (4.24.28).

After lunch Felix won another three golds. In the 50m freestyle he again showed his raw speed, winning in another record time 27.25 (26.45). The next came in the 100m backstroke and the final medal of the day came in the 200m individual medley in which he showed what a good all-round swimmer he has become.

On Sunday, the first session was Felix’s hardest with the longer two breaststroke events to be swum not his favourites. The 200m breaststroke saw him coming eighth.

The next event, the 50m fly, gave Felix a chance to again show his speed and he won gold in a new record time of 29.11 (28.41).

Felix then settled down to the 200m backstroke where he won his sixth gold. In the 100m breaststroke he again came eighth.

The final session saw him win the 50m backstroke and take silver in the 100m freestyle.

In his final event, the 200m butterfly, Felix paced the first 100m very well, turning in 1.10 then pushed the acceleration button to fly up the last 100m to win his final gold medal and take his final age group record 2.26.39 (2.23.59).

Felix was presented with a trophy for being the best boy swimmer in his age group.

Tom Raikes was also in record-breaking form. In the 100m butterfly, being reserve he luckily got a swim, making the most of it. He broke the Shetland record in 1.02.21 (1.00.81) to finish fifth, a great achievement for a reserve.

Tom also swam well in the 50m butterfly, 200m butterfly and 100m freestyle, not dipping out of the top six in these events.

Not to be out done by her brother Arwen Raikes swam brilliantly in the 100m freestyle to achieve her first national qualifying time. When the time was converted to short course she dipped under the 1.10 barrier for the first time. Arwen also achieved a good PB in the 50m freestyle.

Jessika Swanson produced some really good swims to PB in the 50m freestyle, 50m fly and the 200m backstroke.

Leigh Wishart also swam very well in her events at her first long course meet.

In order for Felix to reach his full potential he needs to go to the mainland to compete more often. If anybody wishes to sponsor him or the Delting Dolphins they can contact Graham Southern on (01806) 522682.


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