The Perse School

Perse swimmer aiming for more success after Thailand triumph

1 May 2018

Sebastian Vandermeer (Year 9) came back with a hat-trick of medals from the Thailand National Age Group Swimming Championships.

He won gold with a Thai club team in the 4x100m mixed medley relay at the competition in Bangkok, as well as bronzes in the individual 50m freestyle and boys’ 4x100m freestyle relay.

Sebastian also narrowly missed on a medal in the individual 100m freestyle after finishing fourth in the final.

The Perse pupil was pleased with his haul after gaining the qualifying times to swim in six events.

Sebastian, who names 23-times Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel, winner of seven golds at last year’s world championships, as his favourite swimmers, said: “Thailand is where I’m from, so I always like to compete there.

“My qualification times are swum here in Britain at regionals and nationals and I was aiming to get one medal, so to get three was overwhelming.

“In order to go to an international competition representing Thailand, I’d have needed to finish in the top two in an individual event, so I just missed out by one spot, but next year I’m hoping to make the national team.

“I was very happy with my performance. I feel like I’ve improved and there’s always next year for more medals.”

His focus now moves to this month’s East regional age group championships followed by the British Summer Championships in July.

Sebastian, who trains 12 times a week during the season, including 4am starts for his morning pool sessions, is hopeful of doing well in both competitions.

He said: “If I use my Thai national time, I’d currently be ranked joint third in Britain and only 0.04 seconds off second in 50m freestyle.

“I’ll be competing in the age group above (16 year olds) and I’m aiming for one medal in the relay because my team (City of Cambridge) is very strong.

“I really want to take the sport further because I feel I excel at it. I’ve given up all my other sports to do it because it takes up so much time and effort.”

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