Much like the male half of the University of Nottingham swimming squad, the females obliterated their Trent opponents in what was by no means a tightly-fought contest. The 2013 Varsity swimming tournament began with the women’s 4×50 metres Medley, and the team’s first victory on what was to become a long list. This race set the precedent for the women’s following races, and again, they didn’t let their performances slip.

The following three races – the 100 metres Individual Medley, the 100 metres Butterfly and the 50 metres Backstroke – were won comfortably by the University of Nottingham girls. Additionally, second places were secured in the 100 metres Individual Medley and 50 metres Backstroke. Things were going swimmingly (so to speak!) until Nottingham Trent finally gave us an idea of their strong point – Breastroke. The Trent swimmer put in a fantastic race against our very own UoN competition (who swam a very strong race herself) to secure Trent’s very first victory of the afternoon. The win was met with a huge roar from the Trent side, who must have felt a humongous sense of relief simply by ensuring they weren’t to be defeated in each and every race. As a University of Nottingham onlooker, you couldn’t help but be pleased for her in the face of a considerably inferior Trent squad.

Normality resumed however in the 50 metres freestyle, with the University of Nottingham champion managing an inspiring time of 27.57 seconds.

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Following the half-time break the women continued the University of Nottingham’s dominance with superb displays in 50 metres Butterfly and 100 metres Backstroke. In both instances the UoN team managed to secure the top two places, particularly annihilating the Trent competition in the Backstroke. It was then time for the 50 metres Breastroke – which again proved to be Trent’s personal best stroke. The female competitors from both sides swam what was a neck-and-neck battle which was to go right down to the finish… where the University of Nottingham still managed to deliver the win, of course. Trent’s time recording of 37.32 was a matter of milliseconds behind the 37.06 achieved by our very own athlete.

The 100 metres Freestyle was a far more straightforward victory for UoN, taking first and second place once again. The following race, however, was to provide somewhat of a shock. The 4×50 metres Freestyle Relay proved to be the best race of the entire competition, ending with Nottingham Trent’s second, and final victory of the afternoon – the University of Nottingham were forced to settle for second and third place on this occasion.

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Finally, again, the 8×50 metres Individual Medley Skins was a thrilling way to end a superb day of swimming for the UoN squad. As described above, the slowest swimmer in each race was to be eliminated until only two swimmers remain. Nottingham Trent found themselves with three out of their four swimmers eliminated in the first three rounds, leaving the hope of Trent’s entire swimming team resting on the shoulders of one swimmer for the remaining 4 races. Outstandingly, the Trent representative managed to survive each round, leaving a true University of Nottingham versus Nottingham Trent final to end the competition. In line with the rest of the contest, the UoN swimmer did the university proud, beating the exceptional Trent athlete in the final showdown.

Shaun Gibbs

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