Vale of Belvoir swimmer lands five-medal haul at European event

Andy Banks with European Championship medals EMN-150417-151912002
Andy Banks with European Championship medals EMN-150417-151912002
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Vale of Belvoir swimmer Andy Banks was in good form as he picked up five international medals last week.

The annual European Down Syndrome Swimming Championships, in Southampton, brought teams from England, Scotland, Ireland, Estonia, Norway, Sweden and Spain, while guest swimmers from Brazil and Russia also attended.

Andy, from Harby, started day one with a good swim in the 200m freestyle, recording a time close to his personal best to take fourth place, beating his friend and rival from the Spanish team.

He again came close to a PB in the 100m individual medley before bagging his first medal, a bronze, in the 400m freestyle.

An excellent swim in the 50m freestyle brought his second bronze of the day with a time only three 10ths of a second off his best.

Day one finished with silver in the 25m butterfly, and the 4x50m relay heats where Andy helped the England team qualify comfortably for the final.

Andy again went close to a PB in the 50m butterfly time to open day two, before an excellent swim brought a second silver in the 25m freestyle sprint, just outside the European Masters record.

He narrowly missed out on a medal in the 100m freestyle, but played a major role in helping his team to 4x50m freestyle relay silver to complete his schedule.

All Andy’s times qualify him for the next European Championships in Italy later this year.

The Harby swimmer also took part in a training session at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Andy travelled with two busloads of young swimmers from Melton Swimming Club for an hour-and-a-half session in the 50m pool. There was also time to look round the complex before returning home.