Deepings swimmer Adam Mallett won gold at the British Swimming Championships in Glasgow on Wednesday last week.
Mallett, 26, is a former Deepings School pupil and was the surprise winner of the men’s 200m butterfly, producing a storming finish to pip Edinburgh’s Mark Szaranek and Jay Lelliott of Bath University.
Mallett moved to Australia to take up a two-year scholarship at Southport School near Brisbane on the Gold Coast of Australia and has remained Down Under ever since.
He now lives and works on the Gold Coast but his parents still live in Deeping.
Mallett said he hopes his first British title is just a stepping stone to winning international medals in the future.
He said: “It’s great. It’s the first time I have done it. It is the first time I have become British Champion, it’s obviously what I wanted to achieve. I am a bit disappointed with the time. It’s a stepping stone, winning races and then you can move the time on from there.”
Mallett won in a personal best time of 1.58.02, just 0.18 seconds ahead of second place Szarenek who is five years his junior.
The Deepings swimming, who was representing Swansea Aquatics swimming club, added: “I want to start making the teams, senior international teams and keep on moving forward and one day winning medals.
“I am a bit older than most some people, it just takes longer to get there. Not everyone can achieve things at 20-21, sometimes it takes people a bit longer and I am certainly one of those people. Hopefully I can keep moving forward.”
The Olympic qualifying time for the 200m butterfly is 1:56.97. Each nation can submit two swimmers in each discipline if they have gained the necessary qualifying time. If no one has gained the time then one swimmer with an Olympic Selection Time, which is 2:01.06, may be able to compete if the event is not already over subscribed.
The qualifying times must be achieved in World Championships, Continental Championships, Continental Qualification Events, National Championships and Trials, or International Competitions approved by FINA (Internationl Swimming Federation) between March 1, 2015 to July 3, 2016.
Mallett’s Olympic fate rests in the hands of Team GB’s head coach Bill Furniss, who previously guided Rebecca Adlington to two gold medals.
The Deeping swimmers’ best hopes of a place on the plane to Rio this summer is likely to be in the medley relay squad.