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Swimming: Tom Allen of Flintshire named British Open Water Swimmer of the Year

FLINTSHIRE distance swimming sensation Tom Allen has been named British Open Water Swimmer of the Year at the British Gas Splash awards.

The former Swim Flintshire prodigy now trains in Swansea and this season he has become junior European champion in the 5km Open Water event and qualified for the senior European Championships. He has also earned selection for the 2010 Open Water World Championships in Canada and finished second at the 2010 Dave Davies International Field Open 10k Open Water event in South Africa.

In the pool the 18-year-old from Hope has also become 2010 Amateur Swimming Association age group national champion over 200, 400, 800 and 1,500m freestyle and 200m fly.

It is his achievements in the relatively new category of open water swimming that have singled him out, however. He was the only male swimmer in the list and he managed to beat Olympic open-water medallists Olympic Keri-Anne Payne and Cassandra Patten.

Also on the night, Duncan Goodhew won a lifetime achievement award as the great and good of British swimming, from Steve Parry and Karen Pickering to swimmer of the year for 2010 Fran Halsall, marked another great season for British swimming.

“To win an award like this and be here with the likes of Duncan Goodhew and Karen Pickering is a great honour,” said Tom.