The Loughborough Sport Pool, training hub for legendary breaststroke champion Adam Peaty, was a hive of excitement and tension, as competitors took their first dives in the competition.

15-year-old Will Bell of England Central had a memorable performance in the 1500m with a time of 16:37.99, storming ahead of the opposition by almost ten seconds. He commented:

“I’m really happy with it. It was ten seconds faster than last year’s School Games and I feel like I paced it right.”

England East’s Maisie Macartney was unstoppable in her events, claiming multiple golds in the 200m free, 800m free and 4×100 free relay.

The boys 200m freestyle saw Wales’ Ioan Evans swim to victory, with an unforgettable performance of 1:58.38, pulling away in the last seconds from the three swimmers who had been on his shoulder. He later went on to win bronze in the 1500m freestyle.

Nicole Turner, a five-time finalist in the 2016 Paralympics, did not disappoint as she won two golds for Ireland in the MC 100m breaststroke and MC 50m freestyle. She said:

“For the beginning of the season I’m really happy. I’m really enjoying it as there’s loads of people my age and the atmosphere is great. I’m aiming for the European Championships at home in Dublin next year so this is good practice!”

The Wheelchair Tennis competitors showed some inspirational and fantastic play, with Abbie Breakwell of England Blue through to the final, after winning her semi against England White’s Martha Harris.

Abbie Breakwell
Abbie Breakwell

Under the beaming sun, the hockey athletes were warming up, ready to take to the pitch for their second day of their tournament. England Red girls came back from yesterday’s defeat against Ulster to win against England Blue, in a close match that finished 3-2.

South East’s Rugby 7s star Georgina Newman set a new School Games record for ‘number of tries scored’, having achieved eight already!

As South East ended up with the bronze medal, it was a fiercely fought final tonight between Wales and Ireland. On a pitch full of passion and pride on both sides, it was Ireland that prevailed for the gold medal!

At the Volleyball, Scotland West grabbed victory from Wales in possibly the tensest game yet. With the scores at 25-14 and 23-25, the Scottish crowd cheered their players on as they clinched the final set by 15-12.

It was fencing who drew the attention of many, taking place in Loughborough Sports Tennis Centre, with valiant matches by Elizabeth Powell of England in the epee. Elizabeth managed to beat last year’s champion Laura Sheffield in the final.

Across the road in Martin Hall, the Team Time Trials and Short Sprints took place for Cycling.

The Zwift setup, with four riders racing side by side, was a world first and an incredible moment for the School Games. The men’s event kicked off the competition and saw Wales take victory at the last moment, pushing long time leaders Ulster down into second place. It was the women’s event in the afternoon, and the Welsh girls capped off a great day for the country as they took second place, with the East Midlands quartet clocking a 11.51 time late in the day, to deny them gold.

The 50m sprint races took place in glorious sunshine, with more Welsh success as Emma Finucane, Ella Barnwell and Eluned King finished third, fourth and sixth. However gold went to Ulster’s Clodagh Gallagher, who put in a phenomenal 5.757 ride, posted on her last of the three attempts each rider was permitted.

Of her performance Gallagher said:

“I’m over the moon! I was here last year and did the street sprint but didn’t do very well, so I wanted to do better this year but didn’t expect to get gold. The team relay didn’t go very well as we had a few mechanicals, but sure it’s good fun.”

The campus was hosting various other sporting performances, such as Judo and Wheelchair Basketball, with an incredible day to remember on the third day of the 2017 School Games.