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Halsall smashes 50m Free heat

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3rd August

Fran Halsall won her heat to sail into the 50m Freestyle semi-finals as the Brits ruled the pool on the final morning swimming session of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Showing no signs of fatigue after finishing sixth in the previous night’s 100m Freestyle final, the British record holder clocked 24.61 to progress third from the heats.

I've got a bit of angry determination going on right now and it's going to help me come through.

And having been disappointed with her performance in the final, despite achieving the best British result for 44 years, Halsall admitted she was feeling more like her usual self.

"That was good," said Halsall. "I think that's the second fastest I've ever swum in a textile suit and it was in the morning after a groggy night before.

"So I've got a bit of angry determination going on right now and it's going to help me come through.

"If I make it through to the final, I've got a shot at winning it so I've just got to make it through tonight."

Having qualified for the 100m Freestyle semis on her Olympic debut, Amy Smith repeated the feat over half the distance after a dramatic three-way swim-off.

The 25-year old clocked the third fastest time of her career in her heat to finish joint 16th in 25.28 but went even better in the swim-off, touching just 0.02 seconds off her personal best in 24.82.

Smth's achievement was made all the more impressive by the fact that she had just sailed under her 100m Free PB to clock a 53.69 and anchor the women's 4x100m Medley Relay quartet to a final berth.

Smith was joined by Gemma Spofforth, Siobhan-Marie O'Connor and Jemma Lowe as they touched 3:59.37 to finish fifth in their heat and progress sixth fastest overall.

The men's 4x100m Medley Relay ensured there well be British interest in the final swimming event in the pool at London 2012 after a sensational swim to qualify second fastest for tomorrow's final.

The crowd were right behind us all the way and it's definitely been the best experience of my life.

Liam Tancock led the team out before Craig Benson, Michael Rock and Adam Brown brought down the house as they beat Australia to the touch to win their heat in 3:33.44.

Teenager Benson sailed under the minute mark for the first time in his breaststroke split and admitted the Brits had set out to make an impression.

"My job was to just get the team through to the final," said Benson. "We were ranked 14th coming into it so to win the first heat was amazing.

"The crowd were right behind us all the way and it's definitely been the best experience of my life.

"When we touched the wall we were pretty much first the whole way and the crowd noise really gives you a buzz."

Daniel Fogg shone to secure a final spot in the 1500m Freestyle on his Olympic debut.

To come less than a second off my PB with a morning swim is something I've never done before and is really promising.

The 24-year old came within a second of the English record he set to qualify for the Games, touching in 14:56.12 to finish second in his heat and fifth overall.

"I'm really happy with that swim," said Fogg. "I dropped 11 seconds off my pb to get into this race with my time at the trials.

"So to come less than a second off that time with a morning swim is something I've never done before and is really promising.

"I've been preparing for this day and those 15 minutes for so many years and the crowd definitely helped me through it a lot."

Triple Olympian David Davies missed out on qualifying for the final for the third consecutive Games, after finishing 16th in the heats.

I'm disappointed because that wasn't what I wanted to do but I've got absolutely no regrets.

The double Olympic medallist won 1500m Freestyle bronze in 2004 as well as 10km Marathon silver four years ago.

And while he admitted he had hoped to go faster than his 15:14.77, Davies insisted his third Games had been an unforgettable experience.

"It was a tough race but I knew I hadn't had the ideal preparation coming into it, not just this year but the four years from the last Olympics," said Davies.

"It's been the hardest Olympic campaign for me and I've learned a lot of lessons. My body's taken a lot of knocks but I've kept pushing myself to try and come back.

"I'm disappointed because that wasn't what I wanted to do but I've got absolutely no regrets. I've done everything I can and it's been a privilege to be here."

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