Games glory for golden boy Matt

Matthew Watkinson
Matthew Watkinson

WORKSOP swimmer Matthew Watkinson’s stock is continuing the rise.

The teen added two golds and two bronze medals to his already packed trophy cabinet at the Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Sheffield, exceeding his own expectations.

Sixteen-year-old Watkinson, pictured, who swims for Nova Centurion, romped to victory in both the 100m freestyle and 200m backstroke at Ponds Forge, before helping England Central to bronze medals in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays.

Watkinson’s potential has certainly not gone unnoticed and he was selected to represent Great Britain at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Trabzon, Turkey, earlier this summer where he picked up 4x100m relay silver.

But despite already being able to boast some Olympic silverware, Watkinson, who attends Valley School, admitted he surprised himself with his showing in the Steel City.

“I’m really surprised I managed to win the two gold medals,” said Watkinson. “I came into this hoping to get one medal so to not just get two but two golds and two bronzes is really unexpected.”

“I was hoping to do well in the 100m freestyle and just do my best in the backstroke because it’s not my best event.”

“But I was really pleased with my times this early in the season. I was at the UK School Games last year and I always knew I wanted to come back this year and it’s just been great again.”

Watkinson will now afford himself a well-earned rest after a busy summer before he plots his hunt for more silverware.

And he admits it’s the short course season that will soon be his number one priority.

“I went to the European Youth Olympic Festival in Trabzon where I won silver in the 4x100m relay, which I was really happy with,” he added.

“I’ve not got any events coming up for a while. I’ve got about a month of just training followed by some smaller open meets.

“I suppose my next big event is the Midlands Short Course Championships in Corby.”

To find out more about this year’s Sainsbury’s UK School Games visit www.ukschoolgames.com