Amelie Blocksidge, 14, Breaks British Junior Record, Almost Gets Senior Record at OJI

2023 Ontario Junior International

  • December 14-17, 2023
  • Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Short Course Meters (25 meters), 18 & Under/Open Para Categories
  • Live Stream
  • Meet Central
  • Live Results (or on the SplashMe app)

One of the fastest junior short course meters meets in the world, the Ontario Junior International (OJI) kicked off on Thursday at the Toronto PanAm Sports Centre, pitting a number of top Canadian juniors against an imported team from Great Britain.

That includes one of Britain’s biggest young stars, 14-year-old distance swimmer Amelie Blocksidge, who swam a 15:48.49 to win the 1500 free by more than 30 seconds.

That smashes her own British Age Record of 15:56.79 that was done in Manchester in May by over eight seconds. The time also would have won a bronze medal at the recent European Short Course Swimming Championships where the British women didn’t have any entries.

Great Britain recognizes Short Course Junior National Records up until age 16 (on the date of the swim), meaning that Blocksidge has until April 8, 2025 to continue lowering this junior record, though she’s now knocking on the door of Fleur Lewis’ British Senior Record of 15:46.15 that was done in November. Before that, the record was 15:51, so Blocksidge is now the #2 Brit in the history of the event.

Her swim also broke the OJI Record of 16:09.01 that was set by Canadian Katrina Bellio in 2021.

That wasn’t the only record-setting British swim of the day, either. Great Britain’s mixed 200 free relay swam 1:31.23, which broke the OJI Meet Record of 1:37.19 that was set in 2014 by an American club relay from NCAP. While it’s not clear if OJI will recognize a Meet Record set by a national squad, CAMO (1:35.30) and University of Calgary Swim Club (1:35.63) were also easily under the old record.

That swim by the British group also clears the World Aquatics threshold for the World Junior Record in that event, which is currently set at 1:33.37. The organization has not yet recognized anyone as clearing that benchmark since they began recognizing records in 2014, though an American relay swam 1:31.50 at a World Cup meet in 2021.

Record or not, the splits by the British swimmers have sent a jolt through their national swimming team. 16-year-old Jacob Mills split 22.22, followed by teammate Nicholas Finch in 21.61. The real excitement came from the girls though: Skye Carter split 23.98 at 16 and Eva Okaro anchored in 23.42 at 17.

Okaro’s best flat-start in short course meters is 24.81, and her British Junior Record done in May was just 25.13 (she’s now aged out of that category). 23.42 is faster than any split on the British Senior Record in the 200 free relay, which was done at the 2019 European SC Championships.

If she can replicate that in long course, then Britain might have found themselves a new Olympian to put alongside Anna Hopkin in the sprint freestyles in Paris.

Other Day 1 Winners:

  • Julie Brousseau of the Nepean Kanata Barracudas, a Canadian National Teamer committed to the University of Florida for the fall, won the 200 IM in 2:08.20. That moves her up into 6th place all-time in Canada in the age group, ahead of Taylor Ruck and behind a list that includes four Olympians and a Commonwealth Games medalist. Halle West, 15, was 2nd in 2:10.00, while her older sister Mia West, 17, was 3rd in 2:10.21.
  • Canada swept the 200 IMs on the day when another National Team member Lorne Wigginton won the boys’ race in 1:56.99. He built a big lead ahead of Great Britain’s David Annis on the breaststroke leg, though Annis almost ran him down on the freestyle split to finish in 1:57.89. That time for Wiggington is almost three seconds better than he swam at this meet last year.
  • Timothe Barbeau from Neptune in Quebec won the 800 free in 7:52.08, leading a Quebecois 1-2 with Edouard Duffy (7:56.59) of CAMO. That’s a 20 second improvement from Barbeau over his previous best time done in November 2022 and a 22 second improvement over the time he did at this meet last year.
  • In a multi-class para 200 IM, Jaime Cosgriffe (SM10) won the 200 IM in 2:32.78, scoring 853 points. That leaves her just three seconds short of the Canadian Record for her class held by legendary swimmer Summer Mortimer.
  • The lone entrant in the event, Aly Van Wyck-Smart (SM3) won the 150 meter IM in 4:49.20. Caleb Arndt won the 200 IM in 2:36.74, also as the only entry.

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4 months ago

Blocksidge’s stamina is incredible, simply incredible: her last 50 was huge and another, well-deserved, new PB for her (4.40.35). The main problem is her fly which has to be improved a lot from a technically point of view.

4 months ago

In today heats Ella Jansen looked comfortable to manage the 200 free-400 IM double, and PB for Blocksidge in the 400 IM (4.43.77). Very interesting mens 200 free final with the Calgary quartet Winnington, Darcis, Norman, Kim: in the heat Darcis turned very fast at 100m (50.00) before slowing down; tonight we’ll see what he and his teammates have in the tank.

Last edited 4 months ago by nuotofan
Reply to  nuotofan
4 months ago

Looks like Kim just became the fastest 15-year old 200 Fr SCM? 2nd behind Dardis for 15-16 and 5th for 15-17.

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
4 months ago

I think so: 1.46.14 for second behind 1.45.05 by Dardis in today final and I think that your rankings are right..

Last edited 4 months ago by nuotofan
Reply to  nuotofan
4 months ago

I don’t think Winnington is training with the Calgary team

Scuncan Dott v2
4 months ago

Hope that Fleur Lewis and Amelie can both push each other at trials to get the 16:01 needed to qualify for Paris, with the rate they’re both improving I don’t think it’s out of the question to see at least one of them go under it.

Scuncan Dott v2
4 months ago


Last edited 4 months ago by Scuncan Dott v2
Scuncan Dott v2
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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