CITY of Leeds swimmer Eleanor Jones admitted it was a dream come true to swim in a final at the British Swimming Championships.
The fledgling swimmer was competing in the junior 50m freestyle final at the iconic London Aquatics Centre on Friday.
She clocked an impressive time of 27:32 seconds, coming in as runner-up behind Liverpool’s Athena Clayson.
But despite missing out on a place at this summer’s European Youth Olympic Festival by just one hundredth of a second, Jones revealed she was proud of her performance.
“I got the start I wanted so that was good, it was a powerful opening and that gave me a bit of confidence,” she explained.
“I just missed out on that EYOF time by a hundredth of a second, it was really tight but she just got there in front.
“But I’m just proud of getting here never mind getting those sorts of times.
“It’s a great atmosphere and I’ve loved swimming in the final so it’s a big achievement.
“I’ve definitely gained confidence now and I think I can really use that going forward, it’s been great being around some of the older athletes and watching what they can do.
“I’ve got my last race on Saturday, the 200m freestyle, so hopefully I can put in another good performance.
“I’m not looking forward to that as much as the 50m but it is still exciting and I’ve got my fingers crossed I’ll make the final again, you just never know.”
Meanwhile, Jones’ City of Leeds teammate Magdalena Cygan was swimming in the junior European Games 50m freestyle final.
Cygan hit a time of 26.70 to finish fourth and admitted she relished the chance to swim in the spotlight.
“It wasn’t bad, I was still 0.5 off my PB, but I am still pleased with how it went, it felt quite good and it felt better than my 100m – I can’t complain,” Cygan said. “A bronze would have been very nice, but fourth isn’t too bad.
“My finish wasn’t great, I glided a little bit too much and my arm was a bit straight, but other than that the race went fine, so it is a case of building on it, it’s onwards and upwards.
“Being here in the Olympic pool is great motivation and knowing you are swimming in a pool where people like Michael Phelps have swum – it’s amazing and it feels amazing.
“At the British Champs this year the crowds are unbelievable, they have been great for the whole week.
“It’s really good when you walk out hearing your name and you hear your teammates and the crowd cheering for you – it gives you a real buzz, and there has been a lot of City of Leeds support, it’s fantastic.”
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