Swimmer Tony aims to make European waves

Selsey's Tony Hayward is off to the European masters swimming championships at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Selsey's Tony Hayward
Selsey's Tony Hayward

Hayward, who trains at the Bunn Leisure Oasis pool in the town, will swim in the 100m breaststroke in the over-75 age group.

He has been swimming competitively for 65 years and took part in 14 national finals at junior and senior level, winning a gold medal at the 1961 European police championships, where he broke a European record.

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He said: “I’ve been competing most of my life and I train almost daily. I swim for fun, fitness and friendship.

Originally from Birmingham but a Selsey resident for 43 years, Hayward played water polo in the national league and was part of the GB squad in late 1950s.

He has swum in three world masters championships, with his best result 13th place in the 100m butterfly in Canada. This will be his fifth European masters championship - his best finish being ninth in 1991.

Hayward represents the top London swimming club of Spencer and has dozens of silver and bronze medals from GB finals.

“My lifetime ambition is to win a gold – if I live long enough,” he said.

Hayward thanked 18-year-old Louis Robinson, an off-duty lifeguard at Oasis who has helped him with his training programme.

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