Record-breaking Gunning on target at Stockport Metro Meet

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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English-based Jamaican swimmer Michael Gunning has hardly placed a stroke wrong in recent times and is proving just how much of a force he can be when called upon to represent the island on the international stage.

Following his record-breaking exploits in the 400-metre freestyle and 200-metre butterfly recently, the middle-distance swimmer added impetus to his consistent rise when he again lowered the mark for both events at the Stockport Metro November Open Meet over the weekend.

Gunning's rich vein of form has placed him among the next wave of Jamaican stars aiming to make the transition to senior international waters at the Commonwealth Games, CAC Games and World Short-course Championships next year.

His latest series of record-breaking performances came on the Short-course 25-metre pool circuit, where he placed third in the 400m freestyle in a time of 3:53.08.

With that time, he lowered the 3:54.26 by Dominic Walter last year at the Ontario University Athletics Championships to now complete the famous double, as he now owns the Short-course and national records in the event.

He returned to clock a fast 2:00.07 to claim silver in the 200m butterfly to crush his national record of 2:05.12. Gunning was just edged out for the top spot by Jacob Jackson of Ellesmere who recorded a time of 1:59.75.

Interestingly, Gunning, 23, pointed out that those impressive performances came amidst a gruelling training schedule which resulted in him only participating in only Saturday's session of the three-day meet.

“I only swam on Saturday because I'm so broken from training and I did not want to run myself into the ground. I'm absolutely tired from racing every weekend, but it's great to see that all my hard work is paying off and I'm managing to transfer all my skills from training and see the benefits coming together when I race,” Gunning said.

“I was overjoyed to see how much I had broken those new Jamaican records by because I didn't expect to be swimming too fast right now in this block of work,” he added.

With that taken into consideration, one can only expect great things from the Stockport swimmer in both the Short-course and Long-course circuits when he is fully rested and tapered.

“But it is great to see that the Jamaican swimming history is getting stronger and I'm so honoured that I get to be a part of it. It is truly heart-warming to see how much encouragement and support I've received over the past year, and I can't wait to see what is to come next year as it is a really exciting time for both me and Jamaican swimming,” he noted.

Gunning, who represented Jamaica in at the World Championships and World University Games earlier this year, also owns the national records in the 50m pool in the 200m butterfly and freestyle at 1:59.83 and 1:50.00, respectively.

He boasts a personal best of 55.10 seconds in the 100m butterfly since donning the Jamaican national colours.

Gunning is a part of a Jamaica's next generation of swimmers that includes, but is not limited to, Nico Campbell, Justin Plaschka, Keanan Dols, Kelsie Campbell, Breanna Roman and Bryanna Renuart, behind the 'darling' herself Alia Atkinson.

Atkinson will again lead what is anticipated to be a competitive swim team to next year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, as the country continues to improve its quality and depth in the aquatics arena at the senior level.

This has become evident based on the fact that the country had six representatives at the Glasgow Games in 2014, after only being represented by three at the 2006 and 2010 games in Melbourne and Delhi, India, respectively.




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