More titles decided as swimmers vie for Commonwealth spots
20 Aug 2010
Sunderland Aquatic Centre saw yet another athlete meet the Commonwealth selection criteria on day three of the British Gas ASA National Championships (50m) 2010.
Stephanie Proud had her eyes firmly fixed on a Commonwealth spot for the Women’s 200m Backstroke and her determination showed as she held a convincing lead over the rest of the field.
The Chester Le Street swimmer turned after the first 100m with over a second lead and finished strongly to set a new season’s best as she touched in 2:09.04, nearly three seconds within the required selection time.
Second place went to Loughborough University’s Rachel Lefley in 2:12.51 with third going to Georgia Davies (British Gas ITC Swansea) in 2:12.56.
“I'm very pleased with that performance,” said an elated Proud. “I wanted to go under 2.10.00 but I didn't think that it would be that quick.
“That time would have given me bronze at last week's European Championships but there are only two swimmers per nation and Lizzie and Gemma took the gold and silver.
“Backstroke is so strong in Britain but I'm confident that will put me into the Commonwealth Games for England.
“I've still got the 400IM tomorrow and will be hoping to do well in that, my backstroke is looking strong!”
Daniel Sliwinski (Gallica) proved too fast for the rest of the field as he took a comfortable victory in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke final to add to the gold medal he won in the 100m Breaststroke on Monday. The 20-year-old, who has only been back in the water for four weeks after breaking his wrist in May, touched in a new personal best time of 27.97.
“My aim here was to try to go under 28 seconds and considering my injury in May I'm delighted with that,” said Sliwinski.
“The 50m is my fun event and I'll turn my attention to tomorrow's 200m now where I could make it three gold from the three breaststroke events.
““I didn't have the best start but recovered well and finished strongly but The time was a good personal best and more importantly it shows I'm back in shape after my injury and it gives me confidence for Delhi. “
Silver went to Millfield’s Matthew Shead in a time of 28.75 with Ross Clark (Dundee) taking bronze in 29.47.
The Women’s 50m Freestyle final saw a tight finish with little to separate the field with 15m to go.
Ealing’s Georgia Heyn equalled her personal best of 26.05 to take gold as Jessica Lloyd (City of Manchester) claimed silver in a personal best of 26.33. Bronze went to Emma Wilkins (Plymouth Leander) in a time of 26.38.
Craig Gibbons took gold in the Men’s 50m Freestyle as he raced to victory in 22.87. The Maxwell swimmer touched ahead of Box Hill’s Owen Morgan who claimed silver in 22.90 and Camden’s Edward Walsh who touched in 22.99 for bronze.
Things looked promising for British Gas ITC Loughborough swimmer Kate Haywood as she touched inside the British record after the first 50m of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke.
But her attempt at gaining the Commonwealth selection time fell short as her pace slipped away in the final stages of the race.
The 23-year-old touched in a time of 1:09.01 to take gold with British Gas ITC Loughborough’s Lowri Tynan claiming silver in 1:10.63 and Bridgend’s Sara Lougher in bronze with a time of 1:10.75.
“I was never going to go under 1:08.00 tonight and it’s so frustrating,” said a disappointed Haywood.
“After Budapest last week, the highs and the lows, I just feel completely exhausted.
“It’s left me vulnerable and I've felt quite ill all week which is why I'm not surprised despite giving everything tonight.”
Tom Haffield, already announced as part of the Welsh Commonwealth Games Team, secured gold in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley with a time of 4:19. 14.
The City of Cardiff swimmer touched ahead of Adam Harrington (Loughborough University) who claimed silver in 4:21.53 with Mark McKenna (City of Manchester) taking bronze in 4:22.10.
“The aim here was to go under 4:20 so I'm happy with that,” said Haffield. “I swam over 75k last week so I knew it wasn't going to be super fast but still I'm pleased and it gives me confidence for Delhi.
“I'm training better than I ever have before and my aim for the season is to swim a new best time and I'm gearing towards that for the Commonwealth Games.
The Men’s 100m Backstroke final saw a close race for first as Ryan Bennett edged out Marco Loughran by one hundredth of a second.
In the dying stages the two were going stroke for stroke but it was Bennett (British Gas ITC Stirling) who added a second gold to his collection when he touched in 55.27. Loughran (Guildford) finished in 55.28 with City of Salford’s Luke Wood claiming bronze in 56.44.
“I was hoping to get that qualifying time but just missed it by 0.4second,” said Bennett. “It could have been different but I missed my turn quite badly.
“I've enjoyed this week but I'll only have Monday off and then it’s back in the pool for some hard work ahead of what I hope will be a trip to Delhi.”
Sasha Matthews (Nova Centurion) took gold in the Women’s 800m Freestyle touching in a time of 8:40.00.
The final length saw Matthews swim pull further away from Jessica Thielmann (City of Newcastle) who finished in silver with a time of 8:44.90. Loughborough University’s Sophie Casson took bronze in a time of 8:47.86.
Heather Frederiksen (S8) claimed her third medal of the Championships as she swam to gold in the Women’s MD 400m Freestyle final. The City of Salford swimmer got off to a quick start as she led the field to touch in a time of 4:54.99 worth 925 points. Silver went to Susannah Rodgers (Otter, S7) with Gemma Almond (Shrewsbury, S10) taking bronze.
“That felt so much faster than this morning,” said Frederiksen. “I felt much more comfortable but it was outside my target time.
“I wanted to try to get closer to my world record of 4:45.67 but it wasn't to be.
“I felt good tonight so I'm surprised it wasn't quicker but I've had health issues this week so maybe it's a realistic time.”
The Women’s MD 100m Butterfly saw Gemma Almond (Shrewsbury, S10) claim gold in a time of 1:15.52 to earn 759 points. Second position went to Rosie Bancroft (City of Oxford, S10) in a time of 1:25.16 worth 529 point with third going to Millfield’s Jo-Jo Cranfield.
The Men’s MD 400m Freestyle was won by Sam Bradley whose 5:14.09 was enough to earn him 806 points and the title. The Mid Beds swimmer (S7) touched ahead of Alfie Goldsmith (Black Lion, S13) and Josef Craig (South Tyne, S7).
Craig Rodgie of Carnegie (S14) claimed gold in the Men’s MD 100m Butterfly in a time of 1:03.66 (855 points), silver went to David Ellis (City of Manchester, S13) in a time of 1:03.46 with bronze going to Alfie Goldsmith (Black Lion, S13) .
Rodgie claimed his second gold of the day in the Men’s MD 200m Freestyle when he touched in 2:09.05 (857 points). Craig Moate (Borough of Redbrodge, S14) took silver with bronze going to Andrew Zawadzki.
Lowestoft’s Stephanie Bird added another medal to her collection when she swam to gold in the Womens’ MD 200m Freestyle. The S14 swimmer touched in 2:30.07 (720 points) ahead of Lucy Chenery (Maxwell, S14) and Chloe Williams (Phoenix, S14).