Jessica’s really making a splash in pool

Star swimmer Jessica Thielmann, who attends Ponteland High School.
Star swimmer Jessica Thielmann, who attends Ponteland High School.
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A PONTELAND High School star swimmer is hoping she will realise her Olympic dream after an impressive 2010 in the pool.

Jessica Thielmann was first marked as one to watch when she struck gold in the 800m freestyle at the Youth Olympics in Belgrade in 2007.

And since then she has continued to develop at the City of Newcastle Swimming Club, winning medals at national junior level and representing her country in major events.

The success continued last year and was capped in December when the 17-year-old won the 800m freestyle at the Paul Bergen Short Course International Championships in Portland, USA. She earlier took silver medals in the 400m freestyle and 400m individual medley with two personal bests.

Jessica had already claimed fourth place in the European Junior Open Water Championships in August in Hoorn, Holland, and raced against top names at the European Short Course Championships in Eindhoven, also in Holland.

“I’m pleased with what I achieved in 2010 and it was a great experience at the Euro Short Course event when I competed against Olympic champion (Federica) Pellegrini,” she said.

“London 2012 is still possible and it would be amazing to take part in the Olympics next year or at another time, but I’m taking things step by step and, at the moment, I’m concentrating on improving my times and events such as the British Championships in Manchester next month.”

The Year 12 student’s mother, Helen, praised Ponteland High for developing a schedule with the family to fit around Jessica’s swimming commitments.