Dolphins' delight at Links win

THETFORD Dolphins Swimming Club hosted the 35th annual links gala held at Waterworld in Thetford - and won for the first time in 30 years. De Kempvis Swimming Club from twin town Spijkenesse in Holland and the Hurth Swimming Club from Germany travelled over for a fantastic gala and weekend.

THETFORD Dolphins Swimming Club hosted the 35th annual links gala held at Waterworld in Thetford - and won for the first time in 30 years.

De Kempvis Swimming Club from twin town Spijkenesse in Holland and the Hurth Swimming Club from Germany travelled over for a fantastic gala and weekend.

The strong team of Dolphins put on a magnificent show and came away victorious, taking away the much deserved first-place trophy after a long 30 years of defeat.

Final results: 1 Thetford with 131 points, 2 Hurth with points 81 and 3 Spijkenesse with 77 points.


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The gala was officially opened by Norfolk County Deputy Sheriff Lady Kay Fisher, who delivered an inspirational speech about how successful the Links event has been over the last 35 years.

The three swimming teams then paraded around the poolside and each country sang their national anthem.

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During the gala the atmosphere was alive with excitement as the swimmers and their families from the three towns cheered on the competitors while waving their country's flags.

To top off the Dolphins' success there was an amazing six age group club records broken by eight different swimmers during the gala.

Luke Walsh, 15, set three remarkable club records, when he won the 100m individual medley (1:06.36) and 100m breaststroke (1:13.55) with the split of 34.19 setting the 50m record. Luke also finished in first place for the 100m fly race.

Ben Kleinau, 14, smashed the record for the 100m breaststroke race (1:16.40) when he cruised into first place. Ben also finished in a great first place for both the 50m fly and 100m individual medley.

There was another superb win for the U16 boys when Luke and Ben teamed up with Daniel Clucas (15) and Liam Osborne (16) to break the 16 year 4 x 25m medley relay club record (55:59).

The girls' 14 year medley relay record was smashed when the team of Miami Pearson (13), Morgan Burt (14), Zoe Douthwaite (14) and Hattie Clarke (14) swam to a fantastic first place finish.

Elle Kleinau, 11, swam brilliantly during the gala by winning three events (50m fly, 50m breaststroke pb and 50m freestyle pb) as did Morgan Burt, who superbly won three events (100m breaststroke pb, 100m individual medley and 50m fly). Hattie Clarke had a great win when she swam the 100m freestyle race.

Daniel Clucas, 15, stormed into first place for both the 100m freestyle race and 100m back (pb) while 13-year-old Matthew Vertigans won with ease both the 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle (pb).

Russell Hatton, 12, swam really well by winning the 50m backstroke (pb) and finishing second for the 100m individual medley (pb).

Open swimmer James Martin won the 100m breaststroke race and gained a new pb in the 100m fly race while finishing in second place and open swimmer Stephanie Park won the 100m backstroke race.

The 4 x 25m medley relays really put the team in winning contention when the U12 boys' relay team of Russell Hatton, Luke Collins, 10, Taylor Dean, 11, and Murray Burt, 11, swam to a terrific first place finish.

The U12 girls' relay team of Victoria Root, 12, Fiona Byford, 11, Alice Smith, 11, and Elle Kleinau stormed into a terrific first place.

The boys' U14 relay team of Matthew Vertigans, Ben Kleinau, Thomas Martin, 14, and Connor Walsh, 13, impressed the crowd when they won their race.

The four Open swimmers, Michael Nelson, James Martin, Jack Sear and Stewart Park, put on a great show when they won the 4x50m freestyle relay with ease.

There was also some very close second places, including Miami Pearson, 13, 100m backstroke, Victoria Root, 12, 100m individual medley, Murray Burt 50m breaststroke, Taylor Dean 50m fly and 50m freestyle, Kerry Douthwaite (12) 50m backstroke pb, Sam Rate 100m fly, Jessica Smith 100m freestyle, Liam Osborne 100m freestyle and the girls' open age 4 x 50m freestyle relay (Sam, Jessica, Stephanie and Hattie).

The final race of the day came in the shape of “The Cannon” where eight girls (Elle, Victoria, Miami, Morgan, Zoe, Hattie, Sam and Jess) and eight boys (Taylor, Russell, Ben, Matthew, Daniel, Luke, James and Michael) swam their very best to take first place.

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