Tancock and Spofforth claim backstroke titles
5 March 2012
World champion Liam Tancock dominated the men’s 100m Backstroke final on the third day of competition at the British Gas Swimming Championships in London
The 50m Backstroke world record holder stormed through the first 50m to show the field his hunger for success.
It's going to take a fast time to get in the medals but I'm on the team now and I'm excited about it - Liam Tancock
Tancock’s turn allowed him to stay in control of the race and he powered through to the victory in a time of 53.16, over a second quicker than the Olympic qualifying standard.
“It's all about coming to the Olympic trials and racing fast in front of a home crowd and getting the excitement of what it's going to be like in a few months time at the home Olympics,” Tancock said. “I'm on the team now so it's pretty much job done. I've got to re-focus myself and get ready for the Games itself now.
“All-in-all I'm pretty pleased with tonight's performance. There's no doubt I'll have to go under 53 seconds for a medal in London but I can improve on what I've done tonight.
“I always plan to race fast at the trials and then faster at the major competition. I've done that at the last few years and that will be my aim again this year.
“It's going to take a fast time to get in the medals but I'm on the team now and I'm excited about it.”
The silver medal went to Chris Walker-Hebborn in a new personal best time of 54.46 with Marco Loughran securing 55.13 to win bronze.
World record holder Gemma Spofforth signalled her return to form in the women’s 100m Backstroke by swimming under the Olympic qualification time.
The former world champion turned in fifth place but showed her strong back end speed to catch the leaders up and stole the victory on the touch in 1:00.19.
“I am really excited,” Spofforth said. “I doubted a lot of times that I could do it. There are always ups and downs and it all comes down to the last 10m.
“If I hadn’t qualified that would have been it so I just wanted to give it everything I’ve got and leave everything in the pool.”
“The time was okay but you always want to go under 60 seconds. I've definitely got it in me to go 58 high or 59 low and 60.0 isn't quite cutting it. You always want to go under so hopefully we can come back in July and give it a bit more”
Welsh record holder Davies won the battle for second place and also put herself in contention for nomination to the Olympic team as she grabbed the silver in 1:00.21. Simmonds took the bronze in 1:00.43.
Robbie Renwick put in his name in contention for nomination for the Olympic team for the second time this week after swimming to gold in the 200m Freestyle.
The Commonwealth champion led the race from the start and showed his intention for victory by turning under the British record at the halfway point.
Renwick touched in a time of 1:47.33 to dip under the Olympic qualification time.
“The goal for me was to get the qualifying time in the 200m Freestyle so I can’t complain,” Renwick said. “What I need to do now is get back to hard training and really focus on the Olympic Games so in a way the pressure is off.
“I still have the 100m Freestyle so I can have some fun with that.”
“I am going to have a busy schedule at the Olympics but that is what I like. The way I train, I train for this situation to happen so hopefully for the Olympics I’ll be in good form and I’ll be able to cope with it. The other boys were phenomenal there tonight and to see youngsters like Ieuan Lloyd and Rob Bale come through it will give us confidence in the relay team.”
City of Cardiff’s Ieuan Lloyd won the silver in a new personal best time of 1:47.68 but missed the second Olympic individual qualifying time by 0.30. The bronze medal went to Robert Bale in a new personal best time of 1:47.85.
While they missed out on individual qualification at the first attempt, Lloyd, Bale and fourth-placed Ross Davenport booked their places to join Renwick on the 4x200m Freestyle Relay team for the Games.
Kate Haywood reclaimed the British title with a strong swim in the final of the women’s 100m Breaststroke.
I'm so relieved. I just wanted to be on the team more than anything - Kate Haywood
The British record holder went into the turn half a second ahead of the field and pushed through the final 50m to take the gold medal. She reached for the wall on 1:08.07.
After touching under the Olympic qualifying time she commented: “I'm so relieved. I just wanted to be on the team more than anything and I've come here from being in Australia for the last 14 months and I'm loving swimming again. I love training out there and I've worked so hard.
“Yesterday was just about getting through the heats and the semis and focusing on what I need to do today and I've done the job and I'm on the team so I'm so happy.
“My training times have been going good and I was confident coming in here. Obviously last night seeing a couple of the other girls going quite quick, I was thinking I can't let those youngsters beat me. But I just did my thing and swum my race and I did it.”
Loughborough University’s Caitlin McClatchey qualified fastest for the final of the women’s 200m Freestyle with a storming performance from lane four in semi final number one. She qualified with a time of 1:57.45.
Rebecca Turner and Eleanor Faulkner, both City of Sheffield, secured the next two fastest times for the final after a closely fought battle in the second semi final. Turner touched in 1:58.42 and Faulkner took a time of 1:58.70.
World silver medallist Hannah Miley dominated her semi final in the women’s 200m Individual Medley beating her season’s best time after touching in 2:12.63.
Aimee Willmott secured the second fastest time with a strong swim in semi final number one after touching in a personal best time of 2:12.73.
British Gas ITC Stockport swimmer Michael Rock qualified fastest for the final of the 200m Butterfly with a time of 1:56.45 to dominate his semi final. Roberto Pavoni will go into the final in lane five after touching in a time of 1:57.63.