Champs take shape as big guns line-up for battle

12th March 2014

Commonwealth champions Fran Halsall and Liam Tancock are two of the latest stars to confirm their entry to the British Gas Swimming Championships 2014.

British Swimming Champs TicketsHalsall won five medals for England at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi four years ago and will be aiming for selection to her third Commonwealths at the Champs in Glasgow.

The 23-year old will defend her hat-trick of British titles over 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly and will also compete in the 50m Backstroke and 100m Butterfly next month.

Tancock will also be aiming for selection to his third Commonwealths, having won the 50m and 100m Backstroke double in Delhi four years ago.

The 28-year old will look to recapture the British title in those two events in Glasgow, having missed out on a British gold for the first time since 2008 at last year’s British Champs in Sheffield.

It was a busy week for entries to the British Gas Swimming Championships as some of the top British swimmers joined Halsall and Tancock on the start sheets for Glasgow.

Click here to see a final list of who has entered the British Gas Swimming Championships 2014.

Andrew Willis will whet the appetite for a Commonwealth showdown with Bath teammate Michael Jamieson after confirming his entry in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke events.

Willis – who was fourth in the 200m Breaststroke on his Commonwealth debut for England four years ago - won the British 200m Breast title in 2012 before finishing runner-up to Jamieson 12 months ago.

There will be another fascinating clash of Bath teammates in the women’s 200m Individual Medley after Sophie Allen and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor both confirmed their entries.

English record holder Allen is defending champion for the event and will also defend her 100m Breaststroke title in Glasgow as well as competing in the 100m Butterfly.

But O’Connor, who won her first British medals with silver in the 200m Individual Medley and 50m Butterfly at last year’s Champs, was just 0.12 seconds shy of Allen’s national record at a preparation meet in Berlin last this season.

As well as the 200m IM, O’Connor will try her chances in the 100m and 200m Freestyle, and the 50m and 100m Butterfly.

Roberto Pavoni will attempt to extend his winning streak over 400m Individual Medley to five British Champs after confirming his entry for Glasgow.

The Loughborough swimmer, who also won the 200m Individual Medley title 12 months ago, will compete in the 200m Backstroke and 200m Butterfly as well as the two IMs.

Pavoni’s Loughborough teammates Dan Fogg and Georgia Davies have also confirmed they will defend their British titles in Glasgow.

Fogg, who won 1500m Freestyle bronze for England on his Commonwealth debut four years ago, will aim to go one better than his silver from last year in the 400m Freestyle then go for a third consecutive gold in the 1500m Free.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth 50m Backstroke bronze medallist Davies – who has already been selected for the Wales team for Glasgow 2014 – will defend her 50m Back title and look to go one better than her silver in the 100m Back from last year.

Defending British men’s 50m Backstroke champion Marco Loughran has also been pre-selected for the Welsh Commonwealth team and will line up in the 50m, 100m and 200m Backstroke events in Glasgow.

Ben Proud burst on to the scene with a British record to win the 50m Butterfly title at last year’s Champs and the English teenager will return to defend his title in Glasgow as well as challenging in the 50m and 100m Freestyle.

In the women’s freestyle events, multi-British medallists Caitlin McClatchey and Ellie Faulkner will be aiming to add to their collections.

McClatchey is a former Commonwealth champion for Scotland over 200m and 400m Freestyle from the 2006 Games in Melbourne and will compete in the 100m, 200m and 400m Freestyle in Glasgow.

Faulkner is aiming for selection to the England team for her first Commonwealths and will defend her British 200m Freestyle title as well as entering the 400m and 800m Free events in which she won silver last year.

Finally, Aimee Willmott has confirmed her entry across five events for the British Champs.

The 21-year old has won 400m Individual Medley silver for the past two season but will aim to go one better and seal her first British title this year, having lowered her English record already this season.

Willmott will also compete in the 400m Freestyle, 200m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly and 200m Individual Medley.