Ellinor Southward, who represents Ellesmere College Titans, helped Great Britain's girls take silver in the 4x100 medley relay at the European Youth Olympics Festival in Georgia. The talented 14-year-old also enjoyed individual success, claiming bronze in the 100m backstroke. Such results have whetted Southward's appetite for more international appearances. And she said: "It has been a great experience and has just motivated me further to keep working hard to try to earn Team GB selection again in the future."
Titans' head coach Alan Bircher added: "The character shown by Ellie to step up and produce some exceptional times and win an individual medal and relay medal is a huge achievement." Her latest success caps a busy rollercoaster season for Ellinor, who joined the Titans aged 10. An elbow injury suffered in February almost cut her season short, but she also won her age group for the fourth consecutive year at the Midlands Regional Championships. That's as well as claiming international medals for a West Midlands select team at the Luxembourg Euro-meet and then for England at the Energy Standard Cup in Italy.
She qualified for the youth Olympics festival in April when she won the 100m backstroke and came third in the 200m backstroke as well as making a further three finals at the British Swimming Championships in London. Having then come through her 100m backstroke heat and semi-final in Georgia, Ellinor finished just behind Janja Jamsek of Slovenia, who took silver, and top seed Valeriya Egorova of Russian, who claimed gold.
Her bronze medal came about in somewhat bizarre circumstances after a timing error initially had her finishing fourth. However, the time correction came through at the last second, allowing Ellinor to make her victory ceremony. She said: "All afternoon there were power issues affecting the timing, it's just unfortunate that it happened in my race. "It feels like everything has finally paid off. Getting onto the team was amazing but this was one step better. The top four were really close so I gave it my all and hoped for the best."
14th August 2015 Back to News