BUCS 2014 Long Course Swimming - Ones to Watch!

BUCS Long Course Swimming Championships.
Gatorade Nationals.
Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield.
Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd February.

With 1139 swimmers and 84 Universities competing at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, the highly anticipated BUCS Long Course Swimming Championships is the biggest event this Gatorade Nationals weekend.

The Short Course Championships (6th - 8th December 2013) saw 2 World Records and 21 BUCS Records broken - an incredible achievement, but can the swimmers better that this weekend?

All eyes will be on Loughborough’s Top Short Course Male Swimmer Adam Barrett who broke 4 BUCS records in December. However do not discount his Loughborough team mates Emma Wilkins and Sophie Smith who also broke 5 BUCS records between them, and will be looking to challenge his record haul.

On Friday the 2014 Long Course Championships kick off with the Women’s 800m Freestyle. Ellie Faulkner (Sheffield Hallam), 2013 Top Female Short Course Swimmer and BUCS record holder, will be looking to retain her Long Course title in her 2012 Olympic event. In the 1500m Freestyle later that session, Daniel Fogg (British Swimming) is the only qualifier sub 15 minutes, but Stephen Milne (Highlands) and Jack Burnell of Derby are entered close behind and only 0.02 seconds apart. In December Burnell broke the BUCS Short Course record in 14.50.29 so this heat declared event will be undeniably close.

Reigning champion and BUCS Short Course record holder Rebecca Turner (Sheffield Hallam) will be looking for gold in the 200m Freestyle, ahead of Caitlin McClatchey (Edinburgh) and Ellie Faulkner (Sheffield Hallam). Shortly followed by the 50m Backstroke and Breaststroke sprints, look out for World Record Holder Liam Tancock (British Swimming) and Olympian Georgia Davies (British Swimming) seeded fastest in the Backstroke.

The rivalry between Kathryn Johnstone (Heriot Watt) and Andrea Strachan (Edinburgh) is set to be reignited in the 50m Breaststroke, following 2 consecutive meets of the two taking first and second in the 50m & 100m Breaststroke.

We close Session 2 on Saturday morning with the 400m IM. Aimee Willmott (Teesside), English Record holder and Bronze medallist at the European Short Course 2013, is an unbelievable 9 seconds ahead of the rest of the field on paper. Whilst in the Men’s, Matthew Johnson (Bath) will look to take the double after his Short Course Championship win in December.

Session 3’s highlight is the splash and dash, let’s see who are the fastest men and women over 50m! Emma Wilkins (Loughborough), reigning Champion and Short Course record holder, will have stiff competition from previous silver and bronze medallists Rebecca Guy (Manchester) and Sian Harkin (Stirling). The fastest seeded men in the pool, Benjamin Proud (St Mark & St John), Richard Schafers (Edinburgh) and Short Course record holder Andrew Weatheritt (Loughborough) will no doubt fight all the way to the finish.

The Women’s 200m Breaststroke heats will see some exceptional swimming with Molly Renshaw, Danielle Lowe and Sophie Allen (all British Swimming). Close behind and looking to make their way into the medals will be last year’s silver medallist Kathryn Johnstone (Heriot Watt) and Aimee Willmott (Teesside).

It will be a close race in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke with Andrew Willis (Bath) and Laurent Carnol (Loughborough) searching for gold, but we’ll look to Willis, Olympic finalist and BUCS Short Course record holder to see what he can pull out the bag.

Moving into Sunday and the final day of competition, session 5 kicks off with the Women’s 200m Butterfly. Watch out for Eleni Papadopoulos (University of Manchester) who set a World Para-Swimming record in the S10 category at Short Course in an incredible time of 2:14.36.

The 100m Freestyle sees Grant Turner (British Swimming), Benjamin Proud (St Mark & St John) and Loughborough’s Adam Barrett all entered sub 50s, and is set up for an exciting race for medals between Proud (British Championships Bronze medallist) and Barrett (BUCS Short Course record holder).

In the Women’s 200m IM, Short Course Record holder, Sophie Smith (Loughborough) will be vying for a medal ahead of Short Course medallists Emily Jones (Edinburgh) and Alice Tennant (Swansea).

Closing the individual races for the meet, the Women’s 100m Backstroke will be a tantalizing race between Kathryn Willis (Loughborough) and Charlotte Bryan (Swansea) for gold. Whilst the Men’s event will see Chris Walker Hebborn (British Swimming) pitted against Sunderland’s Jonathan Carlisle and Loughborough’s Sam Straughan who are fastest on paper, but you cannot discount Ryan Bennett (Stirling), Short Course record holder in the 200m and reigning champion.

To finish the 2014 BUCS Long Course Swimming Championships as part of the BUCS Gatorade Nationals, we get to witness the intense and electric 4x100m Medley Relays. Loughborough dominated at Short Course, but the Men’s reigning champions Stirling will not give up without a fight.

And so 70 events, 6 sessions and 3 days later, the Top Male, Female and University Performances will be awarded. Loughborough will be expecting to take top spot once again, but who else can come close?

New Guinness World Record!
100 x 100m Swimming Relay.
Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.
Saturday, 1st February 2014.

An amazing new world record was set in a time of 1:29.03 beating the previous record holders, the Aussies by 8 minutes 50 seconds! Absolutely obliterated their record.

Olympic medalists Rebecca Adlington, Michael Jamieson, Steve Parry along with Olympians, Paralympians, World Record holders, Commonwealth Champions came together for the 100 man relay all for a great cause.

The talent was unbelievable and this was all down to Lewis Coleman (City of Sheffield) who is raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphona Research (check out his website and JustGiving pages).

An inspirational story and a fantastic new world record. This is an incredible feat for the swimming community to be proud of.

BBC Sport.

Great videos that not only are fueling my obsession with Sochi 2014. But also ensure I actually know what I’m talking about!

“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”
Mary Lou Retton.
The first female gymnast from outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic gold medal (1984 Los Angeles) in the Gymnastic Individual All-around competition.

Jean-Claude Van Damme.
The Epic Split.
Volvo Trucks.

I don’t know how I haven’t seen this yet!!

In Nov 2013 for the Volvo Trucks Live Tests, Van Damme, the Belgian martial artist and actor performed the ultimate pair of splits on top of two Volvo Trucks.

Just watch it. You’ll be blown away.

Jason Brown.
Team USA.
Figure Skating.

“I can’t believe what happened. Still not even able to grasp what just happened. There are seriously no words…”

Jason Brown, the 19 year old from llinois who finished eighth and ninth the last two years at Nationals, booked his place into the USA Olympic team on Sunday (13 Jan 2014) with this electric performance!

The TD Garden audience were cheering, applauding and gave him an incredible standing ovation with 10 seconds left in his free skate (long program) to Irish step dance music.

He is definitely who I will be looking to watch at Sochi!

Nature. Who Will Conquer It?
Winter Olympics 2014: Trailer.
BBC Sport.

I love love love the BBC Sport’s Sochi 2014 trail. Charles Dance (Game Of Thrones) as the voice of ‘nature’ gives me goosebumps!

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Thank you, Mom.

After such a successful London 2012 Olympic Games advert, P&G have only gone and done it again. I’m crying at my desk. 

Mixed Martial Arts film.

Finally got Warrior on DVD and I adore this movie! Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton give stand out performances as estranged brothers competing in a brutal, high-stakes MMA tournament. 

Punches, kicks, holds, fighting galore… absolutely everything goes! But this is one of those sports films which not only has physical battles but emotional ones too.

There’s a magical mixture of adrenaline-pumping fights, immense courage and the ultimate family story… whether you’re an MMA fan or not, Warrior will have you up and cheering, applauding and well, I always end up crying.

Harlequins vs Racing Metro.

Heineken Cup.
15 Dec 2013.
Twickenham, The Stoop.
17 - 3 win to Quins!