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BRONZE FOR BRITISH GAS RELAY TEAM

30 Jul 2009
The British Gas women’s 4x200m Freestyle relay team secured the bronze medal after knocking another four seconds off the European record they set in the heats at the FINA World Championships in Rome.

The final relay team, which featured Jo Jackson, Jazmin Carlin, Caitlin McClatchey and Rebecca Adlington, showed their strength as they performed impressively to take the bronze medal.

The Chinese and American team took the race out quickly from the start and Jackson swam a good leg and handed the race over to Carlin in a time of 1:55.98.

Eighteen-year-old Carlin, who swam the fastest time of the team in the heats, showed her potential again in the final as she swam to a time of 1:56.78 and put the team into second place.

The third leg saw McClatchey come up against World 200m Individual Medley champion Ariana Kukors and she put in a new personal best time of 1:56.42.

Double Olympic champion Adlington took the anchor leg for the team. The Chinese and American teams were turning within the world record and Adlington kept her stroke rate high to ensure she was close to them.

Adlingtom fought off Federica Pellegrini’s challenge and sealed the bronze medal and the new European record after touching in a time of 7:45.51.

“I'm pleased for the whole team,” Jackson said. “That was a great effort from everyone. I knew it was going to be tough getting a medal but we all swam our hearts out and it’s a big improvement for us on last year.

Carlin added: “It’s my first major meet and I'm just so happy to be part of this team. I've looked up to these girls for a long time and now I'm competing with them and winning medals. It’s amazing.”

Adlington commented: “It’s hard anchoring the relay with Pelligrini coming back at you and the crowd screaming. I thought it would be close and I'm so proud of the girls for getting us to the end and on to the podium.”

The Chinese team took two seconds off the world record with a time of 7:42.08 as they secured gold ahead of the American team. Silver was won by the Americans in 7:42.56.

The men’s 200m Backstroke semi-final saw Chris Walker-Hebborn knock another second off the personal best time that he set in this morning’s heat and set a new British record as he finished just outside of the final eight positions.

Walker-Hebborn, who is making his World Championship debut, put in an impressive swim in his semi-final as he came up against former World Championship record holder Ryan Lochte.

The new British record holder looked confident on the blocks and continued to look strong through the race. He touched in fifth place in his heat and was ranked in ninth place overall in the new British record time of 1:56.05.

“I'm really happy with the time and that record but to finish ninth, one away from the final is gutting,” Walker-Hebborn said.

“I'll learn from it though, I've dropped my best time a lot here this week and I'm excited about the future.”

In a final that saw a new world record set, James Goddard battled through to finish in sixth place with a strong performance.

Goddard, who has been struggling with a shoulder injury, broke the British record in the yesterday’s semi-final and knew another quick time was needed in the final.

The Olympic finalist swam well and was in fourth place at the half way point but the race proved to be fast with Ryan Lochte (USA) turning well under the world record.

Goddard finished his race well but was overtaken by Australia’s Leith Brodie and he touched home in a time of 1:57.93.

“I am disappointed but at the same time just happy to be swimming in the final as three weeks ago it didn’t look like I was going to swim due to a shoulder injury,” Goddard said.

“The physios and team doctor have done a wonderful job just getting me out on the starting black so in a sense it has been a success for me.

“Those guys had too much in the tank for me and I couldn’t get into the mix as they were just too far away. I know that I could have gone faster if it wasn’t for my shoulder but that is life.

“I have to get myself 100% right now and then focus again on the next step in the countdown to London 2012.”

Gold was won by Lochte in a new world record time of 1:54.10, the silver medal went to Laszlo Cseh (Hungary) in 1:55.24 and Eric Shantaeu (USA) took bronze in 1:55.36.

Fran Halsall swam to the second fastest time in her career as she touched home in a time of 53.05 in the first semi-final of the women’s 100m Freestyle.

Halsall qualified in joint seventh place for the semi-final after a good time in her heat and is ranked in fourth place for tomorrow’s final.

“I was quite happy with that,” Halsall said. “I saved some back in my heat swam and led it out well tonight.

“I want to dip below the 53 second barrier and that is my aim for tomorrow. There are some very quick girls out there with lots more experience than me but if I swim my best time then who knows where I’ll be.

“This year has been really good for me, I am based at the Loughborough ITC and it is helping my development which is why I am swimming so well.”

Kris Gilchrist missed out on a place in the final of the men’s 200m Breaststroke by just over half a second as he finished in tenth place overall.

The Olympian swam a good race and took the British record in a time of 2:09.01 but the semi-finals were too quick and he was pushed down the leader board.

“I knew it was going to be a really quick time to make the final,” Gilchrist said. “Breaststroke has moved on enormously at this World Championships.

“I am really pleased with the time and I would have taken that coming into the meet. You simply can’t control how fast these guys are swimming though. It is mind boggling, 2:08.6 to make the final when 2:09.9 was winning time last time. It needs a world record simply to make the final.”

-ENDS-

The British Gas Swimming Team set to compete in Rome comprises:

Rebecca Adlington – Nova Centurion
Jazmin Carlin – Swansea ITC
Jess Dickons – Stockton/Bath ITC
Ellen Gandy – Tritans, Melbourne
Fran Halsall – City of Liverpool/Loughborough ITC
Louise Henley - University of Edinburgh
Georgia Holderness – Millfield School
Jo Jackson – Derwentside/Loughborough ITC
Jemma Lowe – Stockton
Caitlin McClatchey - Loughborough University/Loughborough ITC
Hannah Miley – Garioch
Keri-Anne Payne – Stockport Metro/Stockport ITC
Lizzie Simmonds - Loughborough University/Loughborough ITC
Amy Smith - Loughborough University
Gemma Spofforth – Portsmouth Northsea/Florida
Stacey Tadd - University of Bath
Lowri Tynan - Wrexham
Katherine Wyld – Nova Centurion
Emma Wilkins – Plymouth Leander

Robert Bale - Loughborough University/Loughborough ITC
Adam Brown – Hatfield
Simon Burnett – Windsor
David Carry – Aberdeen Dolphins/Stockport ITC
Richard Charlesworth - Hatfield
Ross Davenport - Loughborough University/Loughborough ITC
David Davies – City of Cardiff /Loughborough ITC
James Gibson – Marseille
Kris Gilchrist – University of Edinburgh
James Goddard - Stockport Metro/Stockport ITC
Tom Haffield – City of Cardiff
Ian Hulme – City of Sunderland
Andy Hunter – Stirling Swimming/Stirling ITC
Marco Loughran – Guildford City
Michael Rock - Stockport Metro/Stockport ITC
Robbie Renwick – City of Glasgow
Joe Roebuck - Loughborough University
Lewis Smith – Warrender/Stirling ITC
Liam Tancock - Loughborough University/Loughborough ITC
Grant Turner - Loughborough University/Loughborough ITC
Chris Walker-Hebborn – Team Ipswich/Bath ITC
Richard Webb – University of Bath

Diving events take place from 17th – 25th July
Synchro takes place from 18th – 25th July
Open Water takes place from 19th – 25th July
Swimming takes place from 26th July – 2nd August

For further details contact British Swimming Media Officer Gemma Field on 01509 632238, 07917 726431 or email gemma.field@swimming.org

About British Swimming
British Swimming is the National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Open Water in Great Britain. It is responsible internationally for the high performance representation of the sport. The members of British Swimming are the three Home Countries national governing bodies of England (ASA), Scotland (Scottish ASA) and Wales. (Welsh ASA) British Swimming seeks to enable its athletes to achieve gold medal success at the Olympics, Paralympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

About British Gas
British Gas, the biggest energy supplier in the country, has the lowest carbon intensity of any of the major UK energy suppliers in terms of tonnes of CO2 emitted per megawatt hour of electricity supplied to customers. The company is one of the biggest investors in renewable power generation, principally offshore wind. Its recently completed Lynn and Inner Dowsing development, off the Lincolnshire coast, is the UK's largest offshore wind development. British Gas is committed to energy efficiency. Our Energy Savers Report provides free expert advice on how you can cut energy use in the home and, in turn, save money. So far, the report has shown over 2 million people how they could make an average saving of £175 a year. To complete a report go to www.britishgas.co.uk/energy-efficiency/energy-savers-report

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