Swim Champs 2013!

Last weekend we headed to Eindhoven in NL, for the EFSL Swim Championships.  Competing against 19 teams from all over Europe (DODDS and International Schools), the NATO Marlins were hopeful considering that we are a medium sized team in the league.  Thila had been working hard over the season, on technique and speed, and had managed to qualify in all events, bar fly (her least favourite and often most painful stroke).  Old Vets (you know who you are!) had raved about how exciting an event it is, and we were not disappointed, although shattered from the late nights and early mornings, and hoarse from screaming ,on our return!

Held in the International Dutch swimming pool in Eindhoven, the venue itself was awesome, and all the kids threw themselves into the competitive but happy spirit (and the parents too!).  I think the photos just sum it all up……..

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the main 50m pool

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the high dive pool, including an 8 lane 25m comp pool!

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and a 50m warm up pool!!

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Thila’s first race was the 100m IM (fly, back, breast, free), which was a challenge as Thila struggles with fly compared to other swimmers.  However she threw herself into it, and had a great first race, coming in 8th with a time of 1.30.05 (a personal best by 5.09 seconds!)

Her second race was 50m breast.  With a final time of 48.60 (against her seed time of 50.93), she was happy to hit 11th place in one of her weaker strokes.

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Then it was Thila’s favourite.  She’s a real lover of long distance (having had brilliant results in her long distance champs in November) and loves the 200m free, which combines her favourite stroke with a good distance to battle against the other swimmers.  She had a tough group this year, the 11 year old age group has some seriously good swimmers in it, but in her 200 she pulled up to the challenge and hit 3rd!! woo hoo! (with a time of 2.47.43 – taking 15 seconds off her seed time in addition!)

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Next day Thila kicked off with one of her biggest challenges, the 200IM.  Again a great swim (through gritted teeth I’m sure on the fly!) produced a 6th place medal with a time of 3.16.46 (seed time 3.26.06).

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She forgot however to point out the pain she was now struggling with in one shoulder, so she hit her favourite event, the 50 free, silently suffering.  A brave swim gave her 7th (just outside the medals) but with a time of 35.07, she can be proud with the knowledge that this time is within the qualifying time of a 12 year old!

After some great physio from fellow swim parent (and Iron Woman participant!) Patti, Thila was ready for the next race.  Her 50m back gave her another 6th place medal with a time of 42.15.  Go Girl!

Last but by no means least, Thila hit the 100m free.  This is where her guts and determination hit its peak.  After the visible disappointment of the 50, she wasn’t letting this one go, and from my position on the pool deck as a stroke and turn judge, I had everything crossed and could barely watch.  Just like after the episode at Long Distance Champs, where she was accidently locked in a changing room locker which produced so much anger she triumphed in her next race, the disappointment of the 50 free focused her so much that she flew down the pool to take an unbelievable 2nd in the 100m (with 1.15.67).  I am so proud to call Thila my daughter!!

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No swim competition would be complete without the relays, and the 11yr old mixed team battled hard, but were just outside the medals on both their IM and free relays.  And the coach team, did their best………

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the coaches team……

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Overall the NATO Marlins came 4th, with some brilliant swim results in all levels.  And 3rd in the medal count!  It’s been such a pleasure to be part of this team in the 2012/13 season, and I’m currently suffering withdrawal symptons as we take a 2 week break before off season starts……..  looking forward to being back around the pool guys!

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Comments
2 Responses to “Swim Champs 2013!”
  1. I was a competitive swimmer for many years so can really appreciate Thila’s achievement. It’s brought back lots of happy and exciting memories of galas I took part in, but never in a pool that wonderful! That was a very heavy swim meet with all those races. Well done Thila, you’re an awesome swimmer.

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