All gold for Badsworth swimmer Joe in Canada

Joe Litchfield, who won four gold medals at the Ontario Junior International meet.
Joe Litchfield, who won four gold medals at the Ontario Junior International meet.

Badsworth swimmer Joe Litchfield brought his 2016 season to a close in spectacular style with four gold medals at the Ontario Junior International Meet in Toronto.

The 18-year-old City of Sheffield club swimmer won the 400m individual medley crown on the opening day before claiming a second title in the 200m butterfly.

The younger brother of Olympic swimmer Max opened the final night with victory in the 200m individual medley and returned to the pool less than 15 minutes later to repeat the result in the 100m freestyle.

Litchfield was pushed close in the 200m IM on the final day, with Canada’s Josh Zakala turning first at the half-way stage. But Joe took the lead on the breaststroke leg before powering home in 1:59.75.

He was made to dig deep again in the 100m freestyle, but lowered his personal best to 48.92 with a fantastic final turn and a stunning 10m fly kick underwater to retake the lead in the final 15m.

Litchfield has enjoyed a coming-of-age season in 2016, winning European Junior 200m IM gold on his 18th birthday earlier in the season.

He said: “A bit of a rest now then it’s off to Mexico for a three week altitude training camp for the build-up to this year’s British Championships in April.”

Both Litchfield brothers will be chasing down qualifying places for the World Championships in Hungary in July and then aiming to represent England in the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast early in 2018.