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Chester sport round-up: Vicky Thornley strikes gold; Brewers bag new signings; City of Chester swimmers star

Your weekly review of the Chester sporting scene

Rower Vicky Thornley, a former Abbey Gate pupil, and now a member of Leander Rowing Club

This week has been another another busy one for sport in and around Chester with plenty of team and individual successes.

We've brought together all the goings on from across the sporting scene in the city and surrounding areas.

Rowing

Vicky Thornley has Rio on the brain after propelling herself to gold at the British Rowing Championships.

The former Abbey Gate College pupil helped the Leander Club A crew to victory in the quadruple sculls at Holme Pierrepont National Water Sports Centre.

With the 2016 Olympics in Rio looming large on the horizon, Thornley revealed she had all the motivation she needed to lay down an early marker.

“It’s nice to come to the British Championships and race. We’ve only been back in training three weeks, so it is a bit of a shock to the system,” said the 27-year-old from Holt, who will now turn her attentions to the first GB selection trials in Boston, Lincolnshire, at the end of the month.

“We wanted to win this weekend. We’ve got the trials coming up in a few weeks time so it’s about getting race ready.

“We’ll be back in singles in Boston and it will be a long distance trial. It’s the first trial of the Olympic year so it’s important for me to put down a good marker there.”

Thornley was part of the double scull crew – along with Olympic champion Katherine Grainger – that finished sixth at the recent World Championships. And while they missed out on a medal the duo did manage to secure Great Britain a place in that event at Rio 2016.

Queen’s Park High School travelled to Manchester to compete at Agecroft Rowing Club Head of the River.

Gwilym Harris from Year 9 achieved gold, with a time much faster than many of his Year 10 peers. Zara Gaultier-Price and Kiera Burke also came first in their Year 9 girls’ double boat.

The Year 11 quad of Rona Fishburn, Eve Lawlor, Eve Finlay and Fi Weir came second, competing against six other highly competitive crews.

Members of Queen's Park High School Rowing Club with their medals from the Agecroft Rowing Club Head of the River event

Basketball

Wirral Basketball League playoff champions Cheshire Brewers have unveiled two top-class big men as they prepare to defend their title this season.

The Ellesmere Port-based club has revealed the signing of former GB youth international and ex-KFI Reykyavik, BBU Salzburg and BC Tigullio player Richard McNutt and former Manchester Giants big man Iker Amuchastegui.

McNutt, 6ft 9ins, and Amuchastegui, 6ft 8ins, will add serious weight to the Brewers' title defence. Amuchastegui was part of the Spanish U16s team alongside current NBA star Ricky Rubio that won the 2006 U16 European Championships.

They will turn out for the Cheshire Brewers Spartans, one of two teams the club will operate next season.

In an expanded league, the Brewers will offer more players than ever the chance to compete by running the Spartans squad plus Cheshire Brewers Vikings.

The Spartans will begin their season on Tuesday, October 27 at Bromborough Bulldogs (8pm).

Brewers head coach Tom Griffiths said: “Making these two new signings is a signal that we have no desire to give up the league championship this season."

Head coach Tom Griffiths (centre) welcomes Iker Amuchastegui (left) and Richard McNutt (right) to the Cheshire Brewers

Swimming

Nine swimmers from the City of Chester Club took part in the Wirral Metro, one of the first galas of the season.

They collected 22 personal best times, including nine new regional short course qualifying times and one Cheshire county qualifying time.

Thomas Rowlands, 14, claimed first place in his age group in the 100m individual medley, second place in both the 50m and 100m freestyle and third place in the 50m butterfly. He also achieved new regional qualifying times for the 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 50m butterfly.

Jack Edwards, 17, achieved new regional qualifying times for the 100m breaststroke and 100m individual medley.

Kyle Stubbs, also 17, claimed third place in the 200m backstroke and achieved new regional qualifying times for the 400m and 1,500m freestyle, 200m backstroke and 400m individual medley.

For the girls, Isabel Gelder achieved a Cheshire county qualifying time in the 200m freestyle. Also competing well for were Will Brown, 16, Sophie Clarkson, 14, Georgia Williams, 15, Kelly Davies, 16 and Lauren Goodfellow, 17.

The gala came the weekend before the re-opening of the City Baths, home to the City of Chester Swimming Club. The baths have been closed for 30 months for repairs and refurbishment.

Archery

Chester-based archer Duncan Busby has been crowned European champion following a superb success in Poland.

Team GB athlete Busby took the gold medal at the European Field Archery Championships in Rzeszow

The 31-year-old, who won two gold medals for England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, took gold in the compound event.

He managed to hold off the challenge of Norway’s Njaal Aamaas while Croatian Domagoj Buden took home the bronze medal.

The triumph was another high point in what has been a stellar 2015 for Busby, who turned professional in 2009.

He won the All British and Open Field Archery Championships in May and placed third at the GB selection shoot for the Outdoor World Championships.

Chester resident Duncan Busby has been crowned a European archery champion

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