Two Preston swimmers have brought medals back to the city after competing in South Korea.Advertisement
Luke Pool and Dean Heaps from Preston Swimming Club (PSC) swam in a total of five events at the Fina World Masters Championships.
Luke won a silver medal in the 100m freestyle and took the 4th place medal in the 50m freestyle with season best times.
Dean achieved a 6th place medal in the 200m breaststroke and finished 12th in the 100m breaststroke. He also set a new personal best after 10 years in the 50m breaststroke.
Luke has been a member of PSC for around 18 years, while Dean has been there for 20 years.
Dean said: “Competing in the World Masters Championships in Gwangju was a fantastic opportunity.
“We had the chance to travel, see a new country, compete against swimmers from around the world, and swim in fantastic facilities. The experience was topped off by our performances and ability to bring home some medals.”
Dean credits his and Luke’s performances not only to hard work but also to their coach (and his Dad) Steve Heaps.
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He said: “It was a combination of our hard work and desire and Steve’s knowledge and rapport with us.
“Steve has been a coach for around 20 years and is regarded as one of the best in our region. He has coached numerous national swimmers and Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Slater in the past too.
“He is a very dedicated coach for us and our team dynamic with him is a huge reason, not only for our success, but the whole Preston Masters team.”
Dean also paid tribute to others who have helped in his and Luke’s success: “We would also like to say thanks to our teammate Rachel Ritchie for acting coach whilst we were out there, as Steve couldn’t make it due to attending his best friend’s wedding.
“We also cannot thank Raymond James Ribble Valley, Barton Grange, Wash Design, Warren Contactors and AM Solutions enough for providing financial aid to ensure our attendance at the championships as they are completely self-funded.”
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Now back home, Dean and Luke are planning to have a few weeks away from the pool.
They will be back to competing in the Masters National Championships in Sheffield in October, the Masters British Championships in Sheffield in April, and then the Masters European Championships in Budapest in June 2020.
What do you think of Dean and Luke’s achievements? Let us know in the comments below.