04:00PM, Thursday 08 March 2018
The undoubted talents of rising star Tom Dean have reached a national audience after he became a double senior champion at the British Swimming Championships in Edinburgh over the weekend.
Dean, who swims for Maidenhead Marlins, landed his first British senior title, with an age group record, in the 200m individual medley (IM) on Saturday, impressively adding the 400m IM title the following day.
To add to a remarkable tournament, the 17-year-old also won the junior 200m breaststroke and junior 200m freestyle events.
Dean’s swim in the 200m IM final saw him break the two-minute mark for the first time as he finished in 1mins 59.88secs, with Rio 2016 Olympian Tim Shuttleworth in bronze position in 2.03.61, while Wales’ Xavier Castelli split the pair on 2.02.23.
“It’s amazing – I’m over the moon,” said Dean afterwards.
“I knew I had to get my stroke up on the backstroke and then just carry the momentum through for the first of the race.
“I knew I was in good form, and I was hoping for a personal best (pb).”
The teenager won the European junior title in Netanya, Israel last summer and hopes to defend his crown this term, after sailing under the qualification time for the 2018 event in Helsinki.
On Sunday Dean maintained his form by winning the 400m IM with a pb of 4.18.90 and was almost five seconds ahead of Charlie Hutchison, who was second in a pb of 4.23.37. Thomas Paine was third in 4.27.35.
“It was a great way to wrap up the competition – I’m really happy,” said Dean. “I’m training and working hard and taking things one day at a time. This was a really important meet for me. Hopefully, I’ve got the European Championships coming up in July and I’m working on my progression into senior swimming.
“I think I’ll probably have a couple of days off and then get my head down and back into hard training.”
Paul Lloyd, his coach at Maidenhead Marlins said the results over the weekend were remarkable for a junior competing at a senior level.
He said: “Tom has done exceptionally well to win his first senior British championship titles at the tender age of 17.
“This builds on his junior golds at European and Commonwealth Games events last summer. He is now considered to be a rising star by the British swimming performance coaching team.”
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