Sheffield swimming star is aiming for the top

Archie Mitchell at Ponds Forge sports centre, where he trains with the City of Sheffield Swim Squad
Archie Mitchell at Ponds Forge sports centre, where he trains with the City of Sheffield Swim Squad
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A young swimmer who has set his sights on the Olympics has travelled to Hungary in the hope of making a splash in a world championship contest.

Archie Mitchell, aged 18, from Broomhill, trains with the City of Sheffield Swim Squad and is representing Great Britain at the World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships.

The teenager, a sixth form student at King Edward VII school, was one of only two British swimmers selected for the competition’s 7.5km event.

The championships, happening in the Hungarian town of Balatonfüred from Friday to Sunday, are Archie’s third international call-up of 2014.

He was picked for the GB team at the European Junior Open Water Championships in July, two months after competing in a Europe-wide open water festival in Majorca.

Archie said: “It’s been an amazing year for me. Going to the European Championships was a real learning curve and I have built on my fitness ahead of Hungary.

“To be there against the best open water swimmers from across the world will be amazing and being part of the British team is something everyone in my sport dreams of.”

His mum Sue said he had been training all summer with his coach Mike Taylor for the 7.5km challenge.

“It’s a fairly long distance, he’s been doing 10 two-hour sessions every week,” she said.

“His school have been very good about it – they have quite a sporting tradition.

“His aim long-term is to try for the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. He’s dedicated to swimming. It’s very nice to see kids committed to something.”

Archie achieved his placing in Hungary at the British Swimming Championships in Glasgow, where he picked up a silver medal in the 1,500m junior category.

Sue added Archie took up swimming at seven and soon showed a natural talent in the water.

“He’s always loved the water, he’s very energetic. It’s fantastic that he has done so well. It’s a great credit to the club.

“The coaching staff put so much time into it, it’s like a family.”

Archie said: “I feel well-prepared and am really looking forward to it. It’s amazing to have this opportunity.”