Teenage swimmers eye the Olympics after striking gold

IN THE FAST LANE -- swimmers Imogen Clark and Sarah Vasey.
IN THE FAST LANE -- swimmers Imogen Clark and Sarah Vasey.

The outstanding performances of two teenage swimmers have earned them places on the Derbyshire Insititute of Sport (DIS) Gold Athlete Programme.

Imogen Clark (16) and Sarah Vasey (18) join fellow swimmers Abbie Wood and Kane Haggett, athletes Jessica Turner and Yasmin Miller and shooter Caroline Povey in receiving support in their bid to compete at future Olympic Games and World and European Championships.

Sprinter Imogen, from Morton, near Alfreton, underlined her huge potential last autumn by breaking 50m British junior records in freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly. She also claimed a bronze medal in the open 50m freestyle event of the Scottish National Championships.

“My long-term goal is to make the selection criteria for Great Britain and hopefully get on the team,” said Imogen, who trains in Chesterfield. “Before that, I’m hoping to swim at next year’s European Championships in London.

“Being on the DIS Gold Programme will mean that I get weekly massages that will help me train better by keeping me loose.

“It will also allow a strength and conditioning coach to come up to Chesterfield to give me a better quality of training. I normally do my programmes by myself, so it will be a big help to have someone to come along and help me out.”

Sarah, from Derby, demonstrated her talent by taking silver and bronze medals at the British Championships. That earned her first call-up to the GB team for a meet in Tokyo, Japan, where she the 50m breaststroke race.

Sarah said: “I want to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. Being a DIS gold athlete means I will have the funding to get more long-course training.”