SALISBURY Stingrays duo Phil Muspratt and Robert Langan enjoyed mixed fortunes at the British Gas National Masters Short Course Championships in Sheffield.
The three-day competition, at the Ponds Forge International Pool, attracted some of the best masters swimmers and saw several British, European and World records broken.
Muspratt's recent wrist ligament injury limited him to minimal training going into the championships, but he got his weekend off to a positive start in the Mens’ 50m backstroke, in which he won bronze.
His favoured events - the 100m and 50m freestyle - followed and Muspratt managed to add another bronze to his tally. Ironically, his season’s best time, achieved at the Scottish National Short Course Championships, would have been good enough for gold.
He did however, go one better in the 50m freestyle by taking silver - his successes helping him maintain his British number one ranking in the two events.
The swimmer said: "My head is telling me I did well, but my heart is gutted. Twelve months ago I came here and went home with four golds and four personal bests, so naturally my aim was to do the same this year.
"I knew with such little training this was an immensely tough ask, but of course even though I knew the score, I'm still gutted I didn't reach my goals at these championships."
However, he teamed up with United Bristol SC swimmers to help record some golden performances.
Muspratt's dual registration allowed him to take part in four relays for them, helping secure four golds. They broke the British record in the 4x100 freestyle relay and the European record in the 4x100 medley relay.
He added: "Being able to swim with United Bristol has enabled me to taste some phenomenal success, taking the sting out of my personal disappointments."
Langan meanwhile, had been showing promising form going into the competition and his fitness has been vital in his performances. His recent victories at the third round of Wiltshire County Masters Championships were ideal preparation. He finished fourth in the 200m backstroke, going agonisingly close to the bronze medal position with a time of 2:31.32 minutes.
He enjoyed a pair of decent finishes in the 50m backstroke and 400m freestyle, plus a bronze medal in his favoured 100m backstroke in a time of 1:3.88 minutes. He also finished 28th and 43rd in the 100m and 50m freestyle.
Langan said: "I am absolutely delighted with my swims this past weekend. I have certainly learnt a lot and will be able to work on that in the pool so that I am fully prepared for this summer's British Long Course Championships.
"The highlight was, of course, the 100m backstroke with what was for me a very good time. However, I know I can go faster, so by working on a few focus points I'll be back here in 12 months' time to go for gold."