Sheffield had its heart racing as Abduljabar Adama romped to victory in the 13/14 Men’s 50m swimming Freestyle final; putting in one of the swims of the week.
This was on the sixth day of action at Ponds Forge.
The athlete from Nigeria came off the back of another solid swim in the 100m butterfly on Tuesday, 26th July to win by over a body length across the one-length race. Aberdeen Dolphins’ Dean Fearn took the silver, with Mount Kelly’s Alessandro D’Onofrio the bronze.
The Men’s 800m Freestyle provided the first medals on what was a lively day of swimming, as the final heat provided the heats viewers with racing worthy of a final.
According to BritishSwimming, a four-way battle between swimmers with varying levels of national and international experience took place during the first half of the race, with City of Liverpool’s Tyler Melbourne-Smith and Loughborough University’s William Bell both pulling away from the other two contenders into the finish. Despite a solid effort from Bell it was Melbourne-Smith who kept his slender lead to record the fastest time of the event, as Swansea University’s Joseph Deighan touched home for the third.
An intense one-on-one battle for the 18 year-old title took place between City of Birmingham’s Aimee Hood and Wycombe District’s Ella Dyson. The two could not be separated throughout the race as they broke away from the pack, with one hundredth of a second being the gap between them going into the final 100 metres. Dyson then turned it up a gear as the race drew to a close, with Hood hanging on before a late dash saw the Birmingham swimmer claim gold. It was Newcastle’s Lucy Hedley who won bronze, with Ella Dyson earning a clear silver medal after a race which excited the Ponds Forge spectators.
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The evening then came to the Men’s 200m Individual Medley finals, with the 13/14 year-old final seeing a tight dash for the finish. RTW Monson’s Aran Bissett took the race out and looked a clear favourite at halfway, before Camden Swiss’ Llewellyn Porter worked the breaststroke leg to draw them level, to then win the gold on the touch. Coming in behind Bissett for the bronze medal was Tigers Jersey’s Isaac Thompson.
The starters changed ends for the Men’s 50m Freestyle finals, which were always bound to put on a show. Following Adama’s record-breaking swim and a trend of top seeds putting in strong performances to be in and amongst the gold medals, the 17 year-old final was particularly eye-catching as Mount Kelly’s Arun Oelkers won the race from lane 8. With the naked eye unable to pick out a winner, the timeboard showed the news, much to the delight of the cheering Mount Kelly swimmers in the stands. Millfield’s Adam Graham finished just two hundredths of a second behind for silver, as Plymouth Leander’s Jacob Whibley took bronze by the same margin.
The fastest time of the event went to Millfield’s Alexander Painter; the athlete putting in a stunning performance in the 18 year-old final to take the victory by eight tenths of a second. City of Glasgow’s Ruairi McKinnon took the silver, after he finished less than a tenth of a second ahead of Mount Kelly’s Calvin Fry, who was forced to settle for the bronze medal.
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Abduljabar Adama have always been a bold athlete. Back in Nigeria, September 2019, during the National Youth Games, held in University of Ilorin, Kwara State; the then twelve-year-old won 3 silver and 1 gold for Lagos State in the 4x50m mixed medley event.
His contribution with Oluwasemilore Ogundipe, Naomi Oke and Agnes John ensured that Lagos won the gold medal of the keenly contested mixed medley event.
Adama’s name was listed among the swimmers who were called to the national camp by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
When asked about his winnings, the team player said;
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“I’m not bothered that I won more of silver medals in this tournament. Even if I didn’t win any individual gold in this Games, I’m so happy with the team gold I won with my colleagues,” he said.
“I happy with my performance this year especially in those events where I won silver medals. The Delta State swimmer that won gold in those events, I understood he was taken part in his last Games because of his age. So next year, I know that I will be back, even stronger. Age is still on my side for me to come back next year.
Full list of Winners
Men’s 800m Freestyle
13/14 Yrs – Llewellyn Porter, Camden Swiss
15 Yrs – James Raw, City of Leicester
16 Yrs – Jake Tomkins, Barnet Copthall
17 Yrs – Tyler Melbourne-Smith, City of Liverpool
18 Yrs – Matthew Woodhall, City of Sheffield
19 Yrs & over – William Bell, Loughborough University
Women’s 400m Freestyle
13/14 Yrs – Amelie Blocksidge, City of Salford
15 Yrs -Jessica Brandom, Nova Centurion
16 Yrs – Ashleigh Baillie, City of Sheffield
17 Yrs – Aimee Monks, Royal Wolverhampton School
18 Yrs – Aimee Hood, City of Birmingham
19 Yrs & over – Rachel Anderson, Loughborough University
Men’s 200m Individual Medley
13/14 Yrs – Llewellyn Porter, Camden Swiss
15 Yrs – Filip Nowacki, Tigers Jersey
16 Yrs – Edward Marcal Whittles, Chelsea & West
17 Yrs – Matthew Ward, Mount Kelly
18 Yrs – Alexander Casey, City of Leicester
19 Yrs & over – Ben Harrison, Loughborough University
Women’s 100m Butterfly
MC – Georgia Sheffield, Bolton Metro
Men’s 100m Butterfly
MC – Louis Lawlor, City of Glasgow
Women’s 200m Individual Medley
13/14 Yrs – Theodora Taylor, Torfaen Dolphins
15 Yrs – Ruby Stephenson, City of Milton Keynes
16 Yrs – Evie Dilley, Northumberland and Durham
17 Yrs – Annabelle Wilkinson, City of Sheffield
18 Yrs – Abigail Miles, City of Sheffield
19 Yrs & over – Candice Hall, City of Sheffield
Men’s 50m Freestyle
13/14 Yrs – Abduljabar Adama, Mount Kelly (13 year-old British Record)
15 Yrs – Callum Broadhead, Doncaster Dartes
16 Yrs – Nicholas Finch, Chelsea & West
17 Yrs – Arun Oelkers, Mount Kelly
18 Yrs – Alexander Painter, Millfield
19 Yrs & over – Alex Cohoon, Loughborough University
Women’s 50m Backstroke
MC – Claire Connon, City of Cambridge
13/14 Yrs – Tegan Matthews, Guildford City
15 Yrs – Amara Addison, Norwich Swan
16 Yrs – Libby Freeman, Northumberland and Durham
17 Yrs – Leah Evans, City of Bristol
18 Yrs – Kidiest Hodgson, City of Leeds
19 Yrs & over – Katie Latham, Bromley