Swimming stars head for Stockport Metro Open Meet

Stockport Metro Open Meet

Some of the country’s finest swimmers headed to Stockport for the Stockport Metro Open Meet.

Around 500 athletes from across the UK and from as far away as Belgium for the three-day event at Life Leisure’s Grand Central.

It was the perfect opportunity for the stars of the pool to hone their skills ahead of the English Short Course National Championship in Sheffield, with senior and junior competitors putting in world class performances.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Holly Hibbott, 19 from Heaton Norris, put in an exceptional effort in front of her home crowd to record a personal best in the 400m freestyle, touching in at 4:02.25 and dipping below the 4:03 mark for the first time.

Her performance was mirrored by fellow Wolfpack swimmer Katie Matts, 20, who also produced a resounding result in the 200m breaststroke, touching in at 2:22.93 and comfortably beating bronze Commonwealth medallist Chloe Tutton.

Katie Matts in action at Grand Central

World champion James Guy, 23, earned the top spot in the 200m freestyle with an impressively paced split of 52/52.

The Bath swimmer threw down a decisive win in the 200m butterfly, taking the top spot by over three seconds and earning a new personal best of 1:54.81.

Sean Kelly, Performance Director at Life Leisure, said it was the best attended event in the programme’s 23 years.

Sean said: “It was an international meet with a lot of strong performances from a lot of big clubs, so the standard was particularly high and the atmosphere was great.

“There are no national titles on the line, but all the swimmers were out to post their fastest time of the season in preparation for the National Championships.

“It has been great to host the meet here as not only does it give our swimmers the experience of professional competition that they need, it gives them a platform to show the whole world how we do it in Stockport.”

Fourteen-year-olds Olivia Herron, from Stockport Metro, and Freya Colbert, from Nottingham’s Nova Centurion, were closely matched in the skins competition, with Herron touching in at 2:18.38 and Colbert finishing a whisker behind in 2:18.41.

Stockport’s Matts and Hibbott qualified for the skins event in the 200 IM, with Matts finishing two seconds ahead of Hibbott with a time of 2:12.66.