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Barton Townley hoping for successful showing at British Swimming Championships
BARTON Townley hopes a successful showing at next week’s British championships will help him on his way to competing at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The 16-year-old, from Thorpe Bay, will be aiming for the podium in four events at the annual completion at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield.
The Borough of Southend Swimming club star took part in last year’s trials for London 2012 and has now set his sights on a shot at Olympic glory in Brazil in three years.
“Within the next year I am aiming to make selection for Team GB’s European junior team,” he said.
“To do that I have to make a qualifying standard in March next year.
“After that I want to work towards being included in the Commonwealth Games 2014 being held in Glasgow, where I am eligible to swim for Wales.
“Then I want to hopefully go on and make the senior Team GB team and be on the plane heading for Rio in 2016.”
The former Shoebury High School pupil qualified for six events at Pond’s Forge and will compete in four of them between July 30 and August 4.
He’ll swim in 100m butterfly, where he qualified in a time of 58.80s, the 200m backstroke (2.10.62), and 200m butterfly (2.11.88).
But his best opportunity of a medal may come in 100m backstroke, with the heats for that starting on August 3.
He is ranked sixth in the UK over that distance for his age group, and his entry time is 59.42s.
Barton has a great pedigree having qualified for the nationals for the last six years, and making a final in the last five.
He came through the ranks at the revered Plymouth Leander club in Plymouth, and was trained by John Rudd, who coached Lithuanian 15-year-old Ruta Meilutyte to a shock 100m breaststroke title at London 2012.
Barton has was double national champion in 2011 when he won the 100m and 200m backstroke races for his age group. He has numerous county and regional titles, and is current Essex record holder in long and short course for eight events.