Record-breaking Jemimah wins national medals

Swimming sensation Jemimah Berkeley in the pool.
Swimming sensation Jemimah Berkeley in the pool.

A hugely talented young swimmer from Cripps Corner won two silver medals and broke regional records at a prestigious national competition.

Jemimah Berkeley came second in the 13/14 years 50m and 100m breaststroke at the British Summer Championships, smashing the south east record twice in both events.

Held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, the event is the pinnacle of the British swim racing season as the top 24 ranked swimmers aged 13 and over on the British rankings are invited to compete.

Being only 13, this was the first time that breaststroke specialist Jemimah was eligible to compete and her task was made even tougher by having to compete in the 13/14 age category where 14-year-olds are expected to dominate.

Jemimah began her campaign with her favourite event, the 50m breaststroke, and shattered her own SE regional record in both the heats and final. She swam a blistering 32.88 seconds in the latter to claim a fabulous silver medal.

The Battle Abbey School pupil was back in the pool the next morning for the 200m. She swam personal bests in the heats and final, finishing in a brilliant fourth place with a time of 2:38.86.

Jemimah then had a four-day wait for her final event, the 100m breaststroke. She clocked a SE regional record in the heats, but saved her best for the final, smashing the record again with 1:12.32 and taking another silver medal.

Jemimah remains number one on the age 13 GB rankings for 50m and 100m breaststroke, and has moved up to number two for 200m breaststroke. She will be eligible for the same 13/14 age category at the British Championships next year.

Since arriving home, the news has got even better. Jemimah, who trains with Royal Tunbridge Wells Monson Swimming Club, has been selected for the Swim England Talent Support Programme for the second year in a row, as well as the Kent squad for the Swim England Intercounty Championships in Sheffield during October. She has also been awarded a Talented Athlete Support Award by Freedom Leisure.

With the new season about to commence, Jemimah has already qualified for the SE Winter Regionals in Portsmouth during November in the open age category and the Winter Nationals in Sheffield during December, with both junior and senior qualification times.