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Renwick completes golden double in Sheffield

15 June 2011

Robbie Renwick secured his second World Championship spot in two days as he surged to gold in the men’s 200m Freestyle on the second day of the British Gas ASA National Championships.

Just 24 hours after winning the 400m Freestyle title in Sheffield, the Scottish swimmer dominated proceedings over the shorter distance, finishing with a whole body length’s lead over his rivals.

I know I have more in me and that race gives me a chance to step up again in Shanghai.

Renwick got into the lead in the first 50m and although British Gas ITC Stockport’s David Carry closed the gap on him with a length to go, the City of Glasgow swimmer had an impressive turn to move further ahead.

He touched in 1:47.46 to win his gold medal and afterwards commented: “That felt quite comfortable despite being a bit jaded after last night's 400m event.

“I'm just so pleased to have the qualifying time. I know I have more in me and that race gives me a chance to step up again in Shanghai.

“I'm feeling very positive as that was one of my best times in the past two years.”

Carry hung on for silver in 1:49.48 while Jak Scott took the bronze in 1:49.58 with the trio looking set to join British Champion Ross Davenport in the 4x200m Freestyle relay in Shanghai.

British Gas ITC Bath’s Chris Walker-Hebborn announced his return to form with a season’s best time in the final of the men’s 200m Backstroke.

Walker-Hebborn dominated the race and held more than a second lead over nearest rival Marco Loughran with 50m to go before touching in 1:57.20 to win the gold.

“I've done what I needed to do and it feels very good,” said Walker-Hebborn, who jumped to equal sixth in the world this season with his time. “Everything has been going really well and it felt that way in the race.

“I had to go out hard as there was quality in that field but managed to keep it going right to the wall as I knew they'd come after me.

“I wanted the make the team so badly and it hurt a lot but the way I feel now is worth it.”

Welsh swimmer Loughran held on to take silver in 1:58.34 while Ryan Bennett won the bronze in 2:00.42.

The men’s 100m Butterfly saw Antony James clock a season’s best time in the final to dip under the time needed for the World Championships.

I've really knuckled down in training and that showed in my performance - things are going in the right direction at the moment.

The Plymouth Leander swimmer led from gun to wall, ultimately touching in a season’s best 52.13.

“I've really knuckled down in training over the past three months and that showed in that performance,” James said.

“I didn't expect to go quite as fast as I did as I know there are a few areas I can improve on. It shows it’s going in the right direction.

“To make the team is very special to me as I want to use it to gain valuable experience.”

Silver was taken by Simon Burnett (Windsor) in 53.04 and bronze was won by Joe Roebuck in a time of 53.28.

Both Molly Renshaw and Stacey Tadd secured the qualifying time for the women’s 200m Breaststroke in a race that saw the athletes swimming stroke for stroke for the final 50m.

It's an amazing feeling to make the team as a vital step on the road to London 2012.

And while 15-year old Renshaw had the lead at the half-way stage, it was Tadd (University of Bath) who ultimately came out on top, touching the wall in a new English record 2:27.37.

“I'm just relieved to have won and posted that time,” Tadd said. “It’s needed a lot of hard work but I'm there and can enjoy it.

“I felt quite tense towards the end because I could see Molly there but I just kept it going to the end.

“It’s an amazing feeling to make the team as a vital step on the road to London.”

Renshaw sliced nearly three seconds off her personal best to finish in 2:27.67 and admitted she had surprised herself with such a dramatic improvement.

“I wasn't expecting that at all - I've not rested and was hoping for a 2:29. so to go 2:27 is unbelievable,” said Renshaw.

“I didn't intend to make the team but I'm not complaining as it’s an amazing achievement for me.

Bronze went to Hannah Miley (Garioch) who finished in 2:28.95.

Loughborough University’s Amy Smith just missed out on her individual place in Shanghai after touching 0.03 seconds shy of the qualification time.

She finished the 100m Freestyle in a time of 55.27 to win gold ahead of Rebecca Turner (City of Sheffield) who touched in 55.52 and Smith’s club-mate Caitlin McClatchey who finished in 55.81.

And while the trio missed out on automatic individual qualification, they look set to join British Champion Fran Halsall as the 4x100m Freestyle quartet in China.

While Halsall missed the final due to competing in Rome, she did compete in the morning heats in Sheffield, clocking the world’s fastest time this year of 53.61.

Georgia Davies won the women’s 50m Backstroke with a Welsh record of 27.96, jumping to third in the world in the process.

Ekaterina Avramova finished in 28.88 to claim silver while  Jennifer Oldham (Bath University) won the bronze in a time of 29.52.

Finally, Loughborough University’s Rachel Lefley won the final gold of the night in the women’s 50m Butterfly with a time of 27.38.

Lucy Worrall won the silver in 27.66 and Loughborough University’s Tilly Gray won bronze in 27.78

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