Seventh heaven for Shiverers' swimming talent Thompson

Joel Thompson with his seven British Championship gold medals
Joel Thompson with his seven British Championship gold medals

Shiverers Swimming Club starlet Joel Thompson was in seventh heaven following his exploits at the recent British Championships.

Thompson, 16, from Portslade, claimed seven gold medals in the 16-and-under age category in Sheffield.

Shiverers’ Thompson was victorious in 50 and 100m breaststroke, 100 and 200m freestyle, 200 and 400m individual medley, as well as taking top honours in the 100m butterfly to complete a remarkable individual effort.

Thompson was not finished there, though, rounding off a memorable week with silver in the 50m butterfly.

Reflecting on an unforgettable seven days of competition, he said: “I started the week with a couple of wins and my confidence just kept rising from there.

“The individual medley and freestyle events are my strongest, so I was hoping to do quite well in those particular competitions. I wasn’t favourite in the other events but I got on a run and the adrenaline just kept going.”

Thompson, a former Hove Park School pupil, was fresh from his GCSE exams heading to the British Championships.

After a busy few months, Portslade-based Thompson is now looking forward to taking some time off prior to his next adventure.

The 16-year-old has been accepted into Shropshire’s Ellesmere College - which specialises in swimming - from September.

A new start is something that excites Thompson, he said: “I’m starting college in Shropshire from September. Ellesmere is a specialist swimming college, so I’ll be able to focus a lot more on that there.

“Education will still be a big part for me but I’ll the opportunity to keep improving my swimming aswell.”

Several of Thompson’s British Championship winning times have assured him of a spot in the Commonwealth Games trials later this year.

Thompson will be given the chance to secure his spot in the GB senior team at next year’s Commonwealth Games.

An ultimate ambition for the swimming talent is a spot in the Tokyo Olympics three years from now, believing earning a place in the GB squad for the Commonwealth competition would put him on his way to achieving that.

Thompson added: “The ultimate goal is to be competing in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. My timings at the British Championships were enough to seal my place in the Commonwealth Games trials, so I’ve got a chance.

“There’s going to be great competition to get in that GB team but hopefully I be able to breakthrough.”

Thompson receives financial support from both Brighton City Council and The Pebble Trust.

Help from both enables Thompson to compete in competition across the country.

The 16-year-old is thankful to Brighton City Council and The Pebble Trust, a support network started in 2009, for their continued effort and financial backing.

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