Sport

Elite Forces Swimmers Up Against Each Other In Closest Championships Yet

There's been success for the Army and Royal Air Force at the 2018 Inter-Services Swimming Championships in Portsmouth...

There's been success for the Army and Royal Air Force at the 2018 Inter-Services Swimming Championships in Portsmouth.

The Army women and Royal Navy men were looking to defend their titles in the sport they have dominated for two decades.

All the best forces swimmers in the country were hosted by the Royal Navy at HMS Temeraire in a championships where individual glory and team success go hand-in-hand, with 25 Inter-Service records up for grabs.

The Army women were in great form, spurred on by three new records, two of them set by Cath Baker.

She broke a 12-year record in the 400m freestyle and then proceeded to smash her own 4x2 individual medley record set five years ago by a clear 10 seconds.

Elite Forces Swimmers Up Against Each Other In Closest Championships Yet

The 100m freestyle championships best had stood for 25 years, but Sian Harkin, who only joined the Army Reserve three weeks before the event, took just under three seconds off that - not a bad introduction to Army Sport.

It was a record-breaking day for the Army women, who are now a full two decades unbeaten, although Inter-Service rivalry is far more important than breaking records.

In the men's competition, it was nip and tuck throughout the whole championships with the RAF men, who last won the title in 2014, providing a massive challenge for the Navy, with the Army also close.

RAF pilot Gareth Cox took the fastest race of the day - the 100m butterfly.

Elite Forces Swimmers Up Against Each Other In Closest Championships Yet

Going into the final relay races it couldn't have been closer, with only three points separating the Army, Navy and RAF men.  

The RAF took the first of them in the 4x2 medley and in the very final race, the 6x2, it was the Navy who came in first.

It was the Air Force, however, who came out on top in the final tally by a single point. They scored 90 to the Navy's 89, with the Army on 87.

The swimmers will all be back to fight it out again at RAF Cranwell next year, with this closest of championships behind them.