Fogg closes Champs with rousing English record
10 March 2012
British Gas ITC Loughborough’s Dan Fogg produced a grandstand finish to the British Gas Swimming Championships 2012, breaking the oldest English record on the books to win 1500m Freestyle gold.
The first swimming event at London Aquatics Centre had already seen one British and seven national records over the eight-day meet, but Fogg's achievement was one of the highlights of the week as he became only the third Brit to beat the 15-minute mark over 1500m.
The Loughborough swimmer pulled clear of defending champion David Davies at the half-way stage before storming home to touch in 14:55.30 - beating Ian Wilson's previous national marker of 15:03.72 from August 1991.
Double Olympic medallist Davies held on to touch for silver in 15:00.73 and join Fogg in securing an individual spot at London 2012 while Jack Burnell came home for bronze in 15:20.13.
To be in the same calibre as Graeme Smith and Dave Davies means so much to me - Dan Fogg
But there was no catching an inspired Fogg on the night and the 24-year old admitted his performance had surpassed all expectations.
"I think there has only been two guys have swum under 15 minutes before so to be in the same calibre as Graeme Smith and Dave Davies means so much to me," said Fogg.
"Dave is a great athlete and I knew he would be in with a great shout of making that time as well but I just had to concentrate on my own swim tonight.
"I swam on the first day but then the last six days have just been training and waiting around getting more and more nervous for this.
"It was just a matter of getting in and concentrating on my own race and doing what I wanted to do."
Davies pushed hard in the final 200m to seal his Olympic spot and having withdrawn from last year's World Championships with fatigue, the British record holder admitted he was relieved to secure a place at his third Games.
"It was a very, very tough race but I'm delighted to be on the team," said Davies. "A couple of months ago, I never would have thought I'd be able to put in a performance like that so I'm glad to be back in the competitive environment and elated to be on the team.
"It's been a tough year or so and I had to pull out of the World Championships last year. It's been difficult finding the right regime that works for me but in the last few months it's all clicked into place and I've been able to work out what I want to do so hopefully I can just move on again towards the summer.
Fran Halsall also saved her best for the last day, coming just 0.02 seconds short of her British record as she defended her 50m Freestyle title.
To get that close to my British record, I can't believe it. I'm gobsmacked! - Fran Halsall
The World Championship silver medallist has been in imperious form in London and her victory time of 24.13 was enough to secure her third individual spot for London 2012 to go with those in the 100m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle.
"I'm a little bit shocked," admitted Halsall. "Coming in to it I wanted to go 24.5 - that was my target. I wanted to get a good start and just keep my head down to the wall.
"So to get that close to my British record, I can't believe it. I'm gobsmacked!
"Everything I've been doing in training has been going well. If I keep that momentum going into the summer, I know that I can achieve great things.
"I wanted to tick all the boxes and qualify in all my events this week and I've done that now so the focus is purely on getting podium places for the Olympics."
Amy Smith ducked under the 25 second marker for the first time to win silver and book her second individual Olympic spot, having also qualified in the 100m Free.
The Loughborough swimmer ultimately touched in 24.80 to qualify while Jessica Lloyd won bronze in a personal best 25.69.