City of Derby swimmer Greg Butler could well be the fastest breaststroke swimmer under the age of fourteen with two stunning performances at the ASA National Short Course Winter Championships recently.
The young athlete broke records in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events at the competition in Sheffield's Pond Forge swimming pool. His time of 2:20.5 in the 200m breaststroke event was enough to beat a long standing British record set over 15 years ago by Paul Ritchie in the very same pool. His 100m breaststroke performance also beat a record held for over 6 years by Craig Benson, setting a new mark for young breaststroke swimmers to aim for!
Butler was awarded a bronze medal in the under 16's category, despite only being 14, meaning that he managed to out-swim quite a few of his older peers. It's no surprise when you learn that Butler is being coached by British Swimming's coach of the year Mel Marshall.
"Mel's brilliant. You feel like you are learning all the time. I couldn't ask to be in a better position." - Greg Butler
The world-class coach and former British swimmer has also been responsible for coaching Adam Peaty (100m & 50m breaststroke world record holder) at the City of Derby swimming club.
2016 could be Butler's break-out year in international swimming. With an event in Luxembourg later this month and then a training camps followed by another event in Dubai in February. Then it's on to the Edinburgh International Swim Meet in March, followed by Olympic qualification trials at Glasgow in April. So it looks like he's going to be an extremely busy guy!
Butler was invited to the Olympic trials based on his times from competitions last summer and would be the youngest male contender at the Olympics if he were selected. The event also doubles up as the qualification trials for the European Junior Championships.
"The aim is just to go to Glasgow and enjoy the experience. At my age it's a bonus to be there at an Olympic trials with such a high standard of competition ... and hopefully get to the real thing in the future." - Greg Butler
Keep an eye on this swimmer over the next few years. If his recent performances are anything to go by then we could see more world record breaking swims from Greg Butler in the future. I'm confident we'll be seeing much more from him on the national and international swimming circuit in years to come...
Good luck for 2016 Greg!