Golden Gandy seals British double
7th March 2012
World silver medallist Ellen Gandy swam to her second Olympic qualification standard of the week, winning the women’s 200m Butterfly at the British Gas Swimming Championships in London.
- Click here for video interviews with Ellen, Jemma, Simon, Andrew and Michael as well as full race highlights.
Gandy dominated the first half of the race but Jemma Lowe put the British record holder under pressure in the final 50m.
The pacing wasn't what I wanted it to be but I was able to defend my title and get to the Olympic Games in my main event so I couldn't be happier.
The Australia-based swimmer held off the fightback and took gold in a time of 2:06.01.
“It felt really relaxed and controlled," said Gandy. "Then I think all of the pressure and nerves got to me on that last 100 and I tightened up.
"It's just mistakes you learn from and I'll go back and analyse it and make sure it doesn't happen at the Olympics.
"Even though the pacing wasn't what I wanted it to be, I was able to defend my title and get to the Olympic Games in my main event so I couldn't be happier."
Lowe won the silver in a time of 2:06.37 and met the Olympic qualification standard. The bronze was won by Jessica Dickons after finishing in 2:09.21.
Andrew Willis was crowned British Champion in the men’s 200m Breaststroke after touching more than two seconds under the qualification standard.
I wasn't expecting to be that quick. My coach just told me to go for it and I went for it!
Willis, who was beaten to the gold in 2011, swam a perfectly timed race to overtake his British Gas ITC Bath club mate Michael Jamieson on the final 50m.
The World Championship finalist ultimately lowered his English record to 2:09.33 and commented: “It was a really competitive race. I just gave everything in the last 50m. I wasn’t expecting to be that quick. My coach said ‘just go for it’ and I went for it.
“This week has been really nerve-wracking for me. It will be a few days before qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics sinks in. A bit of time off is much needed. I will go home, see the parents and family, who are here tonight, then go back to training.”
Jamieson secured a time of 2:09.84 to meet the Olympic qualification standard. Bronze went to Kris Gilchrist who finished in 2:11.73.
British record holder Simon Burnett won the gold medal in the men’s 100m Freestyle, the blue riband event of swimming.
It's always tough racing against the clock because you don't know the time when you're in there.
Adam Brown led the field out to turn first ahead of Grant Turner but Burnett performed an excellent turn to move into the lead with 25m to go.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist eventually won the title in 49.33.
“I was very happy with that,” Burnett said. “I knew it was going to be a real tough one as it always is. The quality of freestyle has come along so much. At the end I wasn’t feeling much, everything was just dead.
“It’s always tough racing against the clock because you don’t know the time when you’re in the race. In the race, you’re racing against people.
"The qualification time is pretty fast and for me to do it could compromise my Games, so I’m going to focus on the relay.”
The silver medal went to James Disney-May after finishing in 48.48 and the bronze was taken by Craig Gibbons in 49.49 while Brown touched in fourth in 49.51 to secure the final spot on the Olympic 4x100m Freestyle Relay quartet.
European Champion Fran Halsall claimed lane four for the final of the 100m Freestyle after swimming to a time of 53.83.
European short course bronze medallist Amy Smith took the second fastest time from the semi final after touching in a personal best 54.27.
Bath University’s Stacey Tadd qualified fastest for the final of the women’s 200m Breaststroke after touching in 2:27.60. Molly Renshaw will follow Tadd after touching in 2:29.39.
Ieuan Lloyd lay down a marker for the men’s 200m Individual Medley with a strong performance in the semi final this evening.
Lloyd looked comfortable throughout the race and took two seconds off his Welsh record after touching in 1:59.39.
Commonwealth Champion James Goddard will take his place in lane five after finishing in 2:00.55.