Melton swimmer James Bartley qualifies for eight events at national championships

James won a junior and senior title for Mount Kelly at Devon last month EMN-180718-122839002
James won a junior and senior title for Mount Kelly at Devon last month EMN-180718-122839002
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Young Melton swimmer James Bartley’s fine form has landed him with a hectic schedule at this year’s English National Championships.

The 15-year-old has qualified for a personal best eight events at the championships which take place at Ponds Forge, in Sheffield, from Tuesday. July 31 to Saturday, August 4.

Junior Sportsman of the Year James Bartley with Mark Bendle, of sponsors Brooksby Melton College, and finalists Finn Noble (right) and Liam Tew EMN-180718-142709002

Junior Sportsman of the Year James Bartley with Mark Bendle, of sponsors Brooksby Melton College, and finalists Finn Noble (right) and Liam Tew EMN-180718-142709002

The tally, which could include finals as well as heats in each discipline, is more than any other swimmer in his age group.

Dad John said: “It will be a very busy and hard week for him trying to manage his swims.

“He will have heats and finals, if he qualifies, and sometimes more than one race on each day so it will be very challenging indeed.”

Bartley will compete over 400m, 800m and 1500m at freestyle, 100 and 200m backstroke, the 200m and 400m individual medley, as well as 200m butterfly.

The teenager was named Junior Sportsman of the Year at the Melton Times Sports Awards in February after a stunning 2017 season.

After leaving home last year to take up a place at Mount Kelly College, a specialist swimming facility in Devon, he swept to a 14-medal haul at the county championships, including five golds, as well as four top-10 finishes at Midlands level, most notably a 200m breaststroke bronze.

Bartley then notched up top-10 finishes in all four disciplines at his first English Age Group Championships, with a best of fifth place at 1500m freestyle, and then finished an encouraging 13th on his British Championship debut at 400m individual medley.