Roebuck bags second gold in memorable week
8 March 2012
Loughborough University’s Joe Roebuck secured his second gold medal of the British Gas Swimming Championships, and his third Olympic qualification standard.
Roebuck, who won the gold in the 200m Butterfly earlier in the week, added the 200m Individual Medley title to his collection finishing the race in a new personal best time of 1.58.16.
It was an okay race...I actually expected to go a little bit faster - Joe Roebuck
A quick freestyle leg saw Roebuck catch British Gas Stockport ITC’s James Goddard, the early race leader.
“Once before I had a triple British Champs gold and this time it was two golds and silver but the fact that they all went for Olympic qualification means this was definitely the best of my career," said Roebuck.
“There was definitely a lot of competition in that race from James Goddard and we didn't know how fast Ieuan Lloyd would go because he's having a flyer this week but I knew the gold was possible so I just gave it my best shot really.”
Goddard held on to take the silver, dipping under the Olympic qualifying time and touching in 1.58.42 while third place went to Ieuan Lloyd, who took the bronze in 1.59.97.
Sprint specialist Francesca Halsall of British Gas Loughborough ITC won the final of the 100m Freestyle.
The European Champion was almost half a second up on the rest of the field at the halfway point before Amy Smith fought back in the final length.
Halsall held onto the lead and took the title well within the qualification standard after touching in 53.57.
I had a bit more fun with it all which is something I never usually get to do with the 100m Freestyle - Fran Halsall
“It was an okay race,” said Halsall. “I actually expected to go a little bit faster than that tonight but to get on the team and do a time that was such a small margin of my time from the worlds in the summer is great.
“I'm in such good form at the moment so if I can carry that through to the Olympic Games, hopefully I can swim a bit faster there and get another medal.
“I think I was a bit more relaxed tonight. I had a bit more fun with it all which is something I never usually get to do with the 100m Freestyle because it's my main focus. But tonight the pressure was off because I'd already qualified.
"I had to make top four to get on the relay team but other than that, there wasn't really any pressure so it was nice to be able to swim like that."
Smith also met the required time to win the silver medal in 54.01, a new personal best for the Loughborough University swimmer.
Rebecca Turner (City of Sheffield) was delighted with her third place and spot on the Olympic relay squad, finishing in 54.83.
Stacey Tadd was chasing a new personal best tonight to achieve the Olympic qualification standard in the final of the 200m Breastroke final.
The University of Bath swimmer swam with intent taking an early lead and holding on despite a desperate dash for the line from Derventio’s Molly Renshaw.
Tadd took gold in a lifetime best of 2.26.63.
“It was a great race and I'm over the moon,” said Tadd. “It hasn't quite sunk in just yet but I'm sure it will do later when I see my parents - they'll be dead chuffed.
“I'm absolutely thrilled with the time. I couldn't have hoped for much better really tonight. Obviously Molly came back really, really fast. I didn't notice but I knew she would do that so I just had to hang on in there.”
Molly Renshaw narrowly missed the qualifying standard and finished in 2.26.81 while Hannah Miley took the bronze in 2.28.46.
Calum Jarvis of British Gas ITC Bath took a surprise gold in the 200m Backstroke final, beating Marco Loughran into silver and teammate Chris Walker-Hebborn into bronze.
Jarvis, who improved on his personal best times each round of the competition, won his first British title in 1.59.48 putting him sixth on the British all-timers record but just outside the qualifying standard.
Loughran finished second in 1.59.79 and Walker-Hebborn third in 1.59.80. The three will now battle it out for the British Gas ASA National Championships in June to see if they can secure their spots in London.
“That's my first British title,” said Jarvis. ”It's a shame I just missed out on the time but I'm really happy with that. I've come away with a PB and that's all I can ask for.
“My coach has had a lot of confidence in my training. I've had such a great plan and great support.
“They all knew I could do it so it was great to come through and win.”
Karley Mann was the fastest qualifier in the 200m Backstroke semi final, securing her a lane four draw in tomorrow’s final.
Mann finished in 2.10.30, taking over a second off her previous lifetime best, while Steph Proud was second in 2.10.87 and Lizzie Simmonds third in 2.11.08.
Plymouth Leander’s Antony James won the first 100m Butterfly semi final tonight in a time of 52.79 to put him in lane four for tomorrow’s final. He will be joined by Braxton Timm (City of Sheffield) and reigning champion, Michael Rock.
Craig Gibbons claimed a lane four start in tomorrow’s final of the 50m Freestyle. The bronze medallist from the 100m final yesterday, was the fastest finisher in 22.41. Adam Brown and Simon Burnett will start either side of him.