Harby swimmer Andy Banks lands world championship bronze medal

Andy has competed at six world championships in a 10-year international career with Great Britain EMN-180821-174817002
Andy has competed at six world championships in a 10-year international career with Great Britain EMN-180821-174817002
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Vale of Belvoir swimmer Andy Banks marked 10 years of representing Great Britain with a brilliant world championship medal.

Andy hit his peak to record season-best times at the Down Syndrome World Swimming Championships, in Canada, before helping the British team to bronze in the 4x200m men’s freestyle relay.

It was Andy’s sixth appearance at the biennial world championships where he was entered in the freestyle at 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, and 50m butterfly.

A total of 24 countries took part in the six-day competition, with strong entries from Australia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and Great Britain.

The 31-year-old has struggled to get near his personal best times recently, but swam all of his events at his best times of 2018.

Dad Keith said: “With some very fast junior swimmers coming through, many new world records are being set, leaving Andy without a realistic chance of a medal position.

“But he really enjoyed the experience and is still swimming well inside the qualifying times.”

As one of the squad’s more experienced swimmers, Andy was selected for the 4x50 mixed medley and 4x200 men’s freestyle relay which gave him his best chance of a medal.

Mark Evers was the youngest and fastest swimmer and got the team off to a great first leg.

Andy was next away followed by his fellow old stagers Mark Holmes and Stephen Boyce.

The ‘old’ team again rose to the challenge to take the bronze medal behind the Australians and Italians, the only British men’s relay team to win a medal.

The next World Championships will be held in Turkey, in 2020, but prior to that comes the European Championships in Sardinia next year.

Keith added: “Andy is keen to continue to swim for the GB team, but he will have to achieve the qualifying standard.

“As long as he can hit the qualifying times, and remains keen to compete, his family will offer their full support.”

“Andy would like to thank all those who have helped him with his achievements, especially the coaches at Melton Swimming Club, Notts Nova, and Bingham Swimming Club.

“Also the Great Britain committee, coaches and supporters who are all volunteers and make the whole experience possible.”