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England selectors pick out Wycombe stars
TWO Wycombe & District swimmers have been picked out as potential stars by England selectors after their performances as the national championships.
Liam Jones and Luke Thomas, both 16, were spotted by national talent scouts and each will now join up with up with some of the most promising young swimmers in the country on a series of training and development initiatives.
Jones set personal bests over 100m and 200m at the national championships, reaching the semi-final of the latter.
His reward was a coveted place on the England Talent Programme, the Advanced Apprentice in Sporting Excellence.
This two-year course is government-funded and will involve a number of education days and training camps abroad.
It has been introduced to hellp swimmers between 16 and 18 years old realise their sporting potential without giving up their education.
Jones said: “I’m really happy to have been selected and I’m pleased that I will be able to have additional support with my swimming.
“I’m looking forward to the camps.”
Meanwhile, Thomas was also picked out after swimming a huger personal best to take sixth place in the 400m individual medley.
He has been invited to attend an ASA England Talent Performance Profiling and Development Day in Guildford in October.
If he impresses again he will be selected for phase two of the programme later in the year.
He said: “I’m really happy about this; I can’t believe it. I’m looking forward to representing Wycombe & District Swimming Club at the day and learning lots from it.”
Their progress is further evidence of the potential being unlocked by head coach Kevin Brooks.
Brooks, who coached Craig Gibbons to the London Games last year, has only been at the club a year but results have been impressive.
He said: “I’m really pleased with these selections as its a great reward for all the hard work and commitment these boys have put into their training over the last year.
“They deserve it immensely. Not many 16 year olds are prepared to commit to nine swimming sessions a week, totallingy 18 or so hours.
“These selections come at an exciting time for Wycombe and should be the start of more good things to come.”
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