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Madison makes waves in swimming world

A summer of success leads to selection for national development programme.

Ridgewood student Madison Johnson looks set to be a future international swimming star after being selected for the Swim England National Development Programme 2019/20.

This national programme is designed to support young swimmers in their quest to achieve senior international podium success. Such achievements may be several years away for Madison, but as the programme only covers 250 swimmers in the country it is a significant achievement simply to be selected.

Madison was identified as a swimming star after her results at the British Championships, for which qualification was tough. Swimming qualification presents competitors with a six week window of opportunity in April and May when they must compete at high level meets in order to gain qualification times. The times swum in this window are the only ones that can be considered for entry to the British Championships. As a result, this puts huge amounts of pressure on the swimmers to perform on the day. When the window closes, only the top 24 swimmers in each event go to the British Championships, and the next 20 go to the English Championships.

During the qualifying period, Madison competed in Leeds, Sheffield and Wycombe. She excelled in the qualification period and achieved three British times and one English time. This outstanding achievement ensured that she was already making her name as a swimmer to watch at the Championships.

Following qualification, Madison competed in the British Swimming Championships in Glasgow in the 200m and 400m Individual Medley and 100m Butterfly events. Her qualifying times alone put her in the top ten for her age group in Britain for the medley events, and number 15 for the butterfly. She also competed in the English Championships at Ponds Forge in the 200m Butterfly event.

After her exceptional swims at the British Championships, she also recently competed at the North East Regional Championships, achieving six top ten finishes including two fourth places, a third place in the 400m Medley, and first place in the 200m Medley. Her victory in the 200m Medley was achieved in a time that broke a record in Doncaster swimming that had stood for over 25 years.

Watch this space for more details of Madison's journey to senior swimming success.