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Whitehead Takes National Breaststroke Treble

Coventry-kid Adam Whitehead has put the city firmly on the swimming map after scooping an incredible hat-trick of victories at the national championships.

The 19-year-old from Bulkington stunned Sheffield when he took the 50, 100 and 200 metre breaststroke finals on the last day of the event.

And coach Nick Selwood, who has worked with the youngster for the past eight years, believes the achievement is remarkable.

He said:

"This is only the second time the breaststroke treble has ever been done and the previous one was in a very weak field, which was certainly not the case on this occasion.

"One of the swimmers Adam beat was actually the British record holder and won a bronze medal at last year’s Commonwealth Games so the field was very strong."

And Selwood now believes that Whitehead’s ambition must be to take the highest accolade an athlete can achieve.

He said:

"Our aim for Adam now must be for him to take Olympic gold. He is definitely good enough and he has put himself in the frame to do just that.

"I have always said that if a swimmer is in the world’s top 10 a year before the Olympics they have a chance. Adam was in the top 10 two years ago when he was just 18-years-old.

"I have worked with other swimmers such as Nick Gillingham and I know what it takes to succeed, which is talent self-discipline and motivation."

Before the Olympics Whitehead will travel to Istanbul to compete in the European Championships and Selwood admits that will be a stern test.

"The standard of breaststroke in Europe in very high and there will be some very talented swimmers competing.

"We plan for Adam to compete in every breaststroke event there and even if his is beaten it will still act as a very useful learning process."

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CWN / Sport / Swimming / 12 Jul 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM