Three Welsh swimmers achieved medal success, including gold, as part of the Great Britain team at the first IISA European Championships in Oradea, Romania. They were up against more than 300 of Europe’s most experienced ice swimmers competing in 4 degrees Celsius water in an outdoor 50m pool.
Swimmers competed in distances from 50m to 1000m with overall age group and para-swimming European titles up for grabs as well relay events.
Welsh swimmers Lili-May Mustoe (21), Sian Clement (46) and Heidi Brice (27) were selected as part of a 41 strong squad that achieved arguably the best ever results for a British IISA team with 12 overall medals, 99 age group and 3 para medals
Mustoe strikes overall gold
Mustoe, who trains at Swansea University, swapped her usual pool events for ice swimming for the first time at international level. She was GB’s youngest team member and won overall gold in the 50m Breaststroke as well as a host of other medals. Her gold, which came on day one of the championships was Great Britain’s first ever overall gold medal at an international IISA event.
She added further overall and age group medals in the 100m breaststroke and Great Britain relay events, where she competed alongside Rio 2016 Olympic medallist, Dan Wallace.
Clement goes the distance
Clement, from Aberavon was also competing in her first international ice event and showed her range of distances and strokes, swimming in the final heat of the 1000m Freestyle and making finals in both the 50m and 100m Backstroke.
She claimed age group gold in the 1000m freestyle and was one of five British women in the overall top 10. She added age group silver in the women’s 50m Backstroke.
Bronze for Brice
Brice, who has been to two previous World Championships, and sits as Vice-Chair of the IISA GB Board, added to the medal count with age group bronze in the women’s 100m backstroke.
Lili-May Mustoe: Overall gold – 50m Breaststroke, Overall silver – 100m Breaststroke, Overall Bronze – 4x50m Freestyle Relay and 4x50m Medley Relay, Age Group Gold – 50m Breaststroke, Age Group Gold – 100m Breaststroke, Age Group Silver – 100m Freestyle, Age Group Silver – 50m Freestyle
Sian Clement: Age Group Gold – 1000m Freestyle, Age Group Silver – 50m Backstroke
Heidi Brice: Age Group Bronze – 100m Backstroke
The sport of Ice Swimming has seen huge growth recently. All swimmers are subject to medical checks and specific cold-water experience before competing at international level.
The next major international event is the 6th IISA World Championships, in Molveno, Italy in 2025.