Swimmer hits the record books

Wakefield masters swimmers Chris Knee,  Paul Clemence and Bill Moore have returned from the National Masters Swinning Championships lots of medals. (W524A344)
Wakefield masters swimmers Chris Knee, Paul Clemence and Bill Moore have returned from the National Masters Swinning Championships lots of medals. (W524A344)
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A committed swimmer has been making waves at a national over-25s competition.

Paul Clemence, 44, thought his record-breaking days were behind him when he quit life in the pool at 17.

But at the ASA National Masters Championships, with his 26-strong East Leeds team, he smashed a world, European and three British records in separate events.

His mum, Becky Clemence, of Partridge Close, Morley, said: “Me and his dad Brian are so proud of Paul, he has done really well.

“He’s always been a swimmer, since he was a little boy, he used to get a different badge every week. He just took to the water. He has always been really competitive and if he isn’t winning he isn’t interested!”

Mr Clemence’s team broke a world record in the competition’s mixed 200m freestyle team event, set a new European record in the 400m freestyle, broke the British record in the 50m freestyle and smashed British record with his team in the men’s 200m freestyle and 200m medley.

After swimming for Morley Swimming Club, Paul went on to compete for City of Leeds and England Juniors. It was with them he set a new European record when he was 16 in Luxembourg.

But aged 17 Mr Clemence, who now lives in Birstall, gave up swimming to concentrate on his college work and didn’t rekindle his love of the sport again until five years ago.

“He said: “I put my A-levels as a priority over swimming, I probably shouldn’t have and I didn’t really start competing again until 2009.

“It was exhilarating to be back in the pool competing against fellow like-minded athletes. It made all the training and early mornings worthwhile.”