Mahmood leads Romford Town’s medal race at Essex swimming competition


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Raheel Mahmood was the top performer of Romford Town’s young side at the Essex Age Group Winter Championships.

The 14-year-old won 10 gold and two silver medals in his age group races, earning him the title of best overall senior swimmer for all competitors at Basildon Sporting Village.

Head coach Gary Rogers saw plenty of courageous swims and personal bests from his team as Town won 24 gold, 17 silver and five bronze.


Essex Age Group Winter Championships.
– Credit: Donna Moule

Mahmood was one of four swimmers, along with Issy Jopson, 18, Holly Hagan, 17, and Connor McCarthy, 16, who qualified for the Swim England National Winter Championships in Sheffield later that year.

Among the highlights, 15-year-old Mahmood, McCarthy and Jamieson McLaren all won gold in their respective age groups in the 400m freestyle.


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In the 400m individual medley, Rebecca Coogan 13 won gold while Issy Jopson just lost to Ironman world champion Lucy Charles-Barclay to take silver, a national qualification and a huge PB.

Mahmood smashed his personal best in the 200m butterfly to win the overall standings against the senior swimmers as well as his own age group in a quick time of 2: 12.10.

In the 200m freestyle, Coogan won gold while Jopson won silver, with the two best world records.

Junayna Ahmed, 18, returned from representing Bangladesh at the Tokyo Olympics and won gold in the 50m butterfly and silver in the 100m freestyle.

Mahmood narrowly missed crossing the one-minute mark in the 100m butterfly en route to gold.

On day two of the championships, Coogan and Jopson were both clear winners in PB times in the 400m freestyle.

In the 400m medley Mahmood won another gold while McCarthy took a silver with both records being set.

Jopson clinched gold in the 200 butterfly in another 1-2 for Town and Ahmed won silver.

This saw Jopson finish with three gold and two silver during the competition, while Coogan finished with three gold, one silver and two bronze.

Ahmed won two gold and two silver for the weekend while McCarthy won three gold and two silver.

The Romford swimmers will have another stab in the top-level competition next month at the London Regional Championships and their own meet, to be held at the new Harrow Lodge swimming pool.

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About Walter J. Leslie

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