It was a dramatic and fitting finale to a brilliant period in the club’s history, with Deffains’ second gold at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, coming in his stronger event, the 400m free, a couple of days after his triumph in the 200.
Deffains trailed slightly to Gates and Whicks’ Ryan Zhao at the first turn at 50m, but led at the following six turns to edge home in a new club record of 4 min 17.87 sec. Zhao, on his tail all the way, picked up silver when he touched home in 4.18.15.
It was a six-second personal best for Deffains and that followed a five-second PB in the heats, so an impressive 11-second improvement. And improvements in PBs has been the theme throughout Tigers amazing run of success in the British then English nationals this summer – not to mention the host of medals won.
As a finale to their season it could simply not have been better and coach Nathan Jégou was clearly delighted: ‘What a way to finish the season. Great two weeks for Tigers and everyone involved with the club.
‘Now it’s time for a break.’
Earlier in the final day of the English Summer Meet, Tara Box finished 14th in the 16 years 200m back, coming through strongly in the second half of the race for a time of 2 min 29.00 sec.