It’s not everyday you get to beat an Olympic silver medalist but that was certainly the case for JESS student Lewis Burras, who won gold in the men’s 100m freestyle at the British Swimming Championships in Edinburgh.
Burras sealed top spot in the Scottish capital with a personal best of 49.89, edging Rio 4×100 and 4x200m relay medalist Duncan Scott.
His stunning time not only sees him qualify for this year’s European Junior Championships, the feat was even more impressive considering he was the only swimmer to swim the race under 50 seconds.
Unsurprisingly, Burras was delighted to prevail in a race where he was pushed all the way by Scott and David Cumberlidge.
“It felt great to win especially racing against these older guys and I think this is great preparation for next year as I transition from Junior and compete on the Senior stage,” the 18-year-old said. “The atmosphere here was incredible, as soon as the lights went down, I know it was game face time.”
Burras joined JESS as a primary student and had his first taste of swimming at just three-years-old. He’s made big strides since then and has been part of the British Swimming Junior Performance Team over the last few years, climbing up the rankings of the senior swimmers.
His training as you expect, is gruelling with daily training sessions before and after school at Hamilton Aquatics under the guidance of coach Ash Morris.
After seeing his progress in the pool, JESS were delighted with his latest achievements.
“At 18, Lewis is still classed as a Junior, so for a Junior swimmer to take Gold at the Men’s Senior 100m Freestyle title at the British Championships is a pretty outstanding achievement,” said Katie Raybould, Head of Aquatics at JESS. “Especially when he was competing against well-established senior athletes including Duncan Scott who represented Great Britain at the Rio Olympics and was part of the medal-winning relay there.
Shane O’Brian, Secondary Head at JESS, added: “The commitment needed to swim competitively at this level and still maintain school work is hugely commendable. Lewis is an outstanding athlete and an exemplary student, and the whole of JESS are proud of his achievements.”
For Lewis’ mother, Samantha, she is happy her son’s hard work is paying off and lauded JESS for their support.
“We are so proud of Lewis. The dedication, focus and drive he has to achieve his dreams is inspiring and even though he has had setbacks he has learnt from those experiences and used them to make him stronger and more determined,” she said.
“He usually has three to four overseas swim meets a year and I can’t thank the entire team at JESS enough for the support, encouragement and guidance they have given him, tailoring his studies around his training and overseas competitions, ensuring he is still on track to achieve his academic goals as well as his sporting ones.”
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