Swimmer Max strikes gold in World Junior Championships

Max Litchfield (right), part of the Great Britain 4x200m freestyle relay team that won gold at the World Junior Championships
Max Litchfield (right), part of the Great Britain 4x200m freestyle relay team that won gold at the World Junior Championships

Badsworth’s potential Olympian Max Litchfield enjoyed a perfect end to a fantastic season when he was part of a Great Britain relay team that struck gold at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai.

Max joined Matthew Johnson, of City of Sheffield, Caleb Hughes(Hatfield) and James Guy (Millfield) in the 4x200m freestyle relay team that was looking to add to their superb gold medal winning performance in the European Junior Championships in Poland in July.

This time they were up against not only the best in Europe, but the might of the USA and Australia, but in the heats they laid down a marker when they were the fastest qualifiers and set a new championship record.

In the final the lads then swam even faster as they improved their previous best time by over four seconds to claim gold in a time of 7:15.36, setting a new world junior record in the process as they held off Australia, who took the silver in 7:15.82 and the USA, who finished in third place in 7:17.67.

After a solid start from Matt Johnson, Max took over on the second leg to keep the Brits in the race to bring team GB back up to third place. Caleb Hughes got the team up to second then Jimmy Guy swam a fantastic anchor leg as he stormed past the Americans in the final 200m to guarantee the gold.

“We’re all really pleased with that, we knew we needed to go faster than the morning, heat,” said Max.

“To drop four seconds and get a new championship record is a fantastic result.”

Max, 18, also competed in three individual events during the World Championships, finishing sixth in the 200m individual medley, seventh in the 400m individual medley and ninth in the 200m freestyle against the world’s best junior swimmers.

The Dubai event crowned a great year for Max after he also enjoyed success in national championships and at European level.

After doing well against the best in the country at the British Championships in Leeds earlier this year Max qualified for the European Junior Championships in the 400m freestyle and 200m and 400m individual medley events as well as earning a place in the 4x200m freestyle relay team.

In the event in Poznan, Poland Max came away with a gold medal in the relay event and a silver in the 200m individual medley in a time of two minutes, 1.6 seconds, only being beaten by the young Russian star Semen Makovich in a new European junior record of 1:59.94.

Max has little time to rest on his laurels as he has only a two week rest before the new season starts with a move from the Doncaster Dartes club to the City of Sheffield Swim Squad to fit in with his move from Pontefract NEW College to Sheffield Hallam University where Max will be studying physiotheropy.

Next year will be another potentially exciting one for Max with his sights set on a place in the England team to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July 2014.