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Nova Centurion boast new British champion in Freya Colbert who represented Nottinghamshire’s performance swimming club at the week-long event at Ponds Forge in Sheffield

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A swimming club with strong ties to Newark is celebrating a record-breaking team effort at the British Championships.

New British champion Freya Colbert was the stand-out Nova Centurion swimmer in a record-breaking team effort at the championships.

Freya Colbert (56564847)
Freya Colbert (56564847)

The teenager, who claimed gold in the 400m individual medley and won silver and bronze medals, was one of 29 swimmers who qualified and 23 who represented Nottinghamshire’s performance swimming club at the week-long event at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Ten Nova swimmers reached finals at the British trials, which serves as a qualifying meet for this summer’s World and European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Eighteen-year-old Colbert, of Grantham, who has been on British Swimming’s World Class Podium Potential Programme since she was 15, is now eligible for Commonwealth Games selection and has already been announced in the squad for June’s World Championships in Budapest alongside Olympic superstars such as Adam Peaty, Molly Renshaw and Duncan Scott.

Two other Nova swimmers — Livia Kingsland and Iona Colbert, Freya’s younger sister, were crowned junior champions in the 1,500m free and 100m back respectively and have now been selected to compete at the European Junior Championships in Bucharest, Romania in July.

“It was an amazing week for our club with some incredible swims across the board,” said Nova head coach and director of swimming Nathan Hilton.

“It was a fitting reward for a year of hard work by the swimmers and coaching team to see so many personal bests, finalists and medallists.

“Swimmers have endured two years of disruption and pool closures because of covid which has been extremely challenging, but Nova swimmers have showed their resilience and come back fighting and we’re now seeing the rewards.

“Freya’s achievements caught the eye against some world-class swimmers, but she was far from alone in exceeding expectations.

“I’m so proud of all of them and the wonderful coaches, base clubs, parents, support staff and volunteers we have here in Nottinghamshire.

“It really has been a team effort with everyone contributing in their own way.”

Colbert, who is about to sit A-Levels at Kesteven and Grantham Girls School, was not only crowned British Champion in the 400IM, she also claimed a silver medal in the 400m freestyle and bronze in the 200m freestyle.

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