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Double gold rush on day six in Manchester

10 March 2011

James Goddard took his second British title is as many days, winning the men’s 200m Backstroke by more than four seconds at the British Gas Swimming Championships in Manchester.

Goddard, who won the 200m Individual Medley title yesterday, repeated his gold double from last year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi taking two golds in two days.

I haven't had the best preparation but it's one of those meets where you grit your teeth and get the results.

Leading from the gun, Goddard pulled away to take the clear victory in a time of 1:57.08 - the fastest time in the world this year.

He said: “I just tried to swim my own race out there. It was tough but it was a solid swim. I got the time for Shanghai and I am happy with that.

“I haven't had the best preparation for this competition but it is one of those meets where you have to grit your teeth and get the results.

“Backstroke is my main event and I know I can go faster. I haven't felt my best this week but I did what I needed too.”

Xavier Mohammed won silver in 2:01.71 while Chris Walker-Hebborn won bronze in 2:01.94.

Francesca Halsall booked her place at the World Championships this summer, by defending her 100m Freestyle title.

Fastest qualifier Amy Smith proved Halsall's closest challenger in the final but the European champion put in a gutsy final 15m to take the win in 55.01 - 0.03 seconds clear of her Loughborough University teammate.

“I wanted to dip under the 55 mark but I got the time and that was what I came here to do," said Halsall, who had ankle surgery at the end of 2010.

"I think I just need a couple more months and then I'll be back to where I need to be. I wanted to prove people wrong and it means a lot to me.

“I will spend the next couple of months working on getting my spark back. I know it'll come in time.”

Rebecca Turner eventually won bronze, finishing in 55.86.

Michael Jamieson was also in a golden mood tonight taking his second Breaststroke gold in the 200m 2.10.42.

I didn't know what to expect going into the final but to get a personal best is a definite bonus!

The race proved to be one of the closest of the session with three athletes from the British Gas ITC Bath (Jamieson, Andrew Willis and Kris Gilchrist) swimming level at the turn for the final 50m.

But 100m champion Jamieson came through with just 25m to go and set a personal best 2:10.42 to defend his title and dip under the World Championships qualification time for the second time this week.

"I'm delighted with that swim," said Jamieson, who lifted silver in the same event at last year's Commonwealth Games.

"The 200m is my favourite event and I was a bit nervous  going into the final. I didn’t know what to expect going into the final but to get a PB is a definite bonus.

"I knew it would be a tough first 100 so I stuck with them and I worked hard to come back through for the final 50m”

Willis clocked a personal best 2:11.13 to clinch silver and join Jamieson in securing World Championships qualification while Gilchrist was edged out into bronze in 2.11.43.

Stacey Tadd also completed her breaststroke double on day six by adding the 200m title to her 100m from earlier in the week.

“I never thought I would come here and get the 100 and 200 titles, to win both is amazing,” said Tadd, who missed out on the selection time for the World Championships.

“Throughout the final I felt like someone was beside me and that pushed me onto the end. I am pleased with the time but I'll go to Sheffield to try and get the qualifying time for Shanghai.”

Tadd ultimately touched home in 2.28.99 ahead of 14-year old Molly Renshaw (2.30.45) who clocked an Age Group record for silver and Kate Hutchinson (2.31.96).

In the evening's semi finals, British record holder Michael Rock was the fastest 100m Butterfly qualifier in 52.88 with Anthony James (53.50) second fastest and James Doolan (53.91) progressing in third.

In the splash and dash 50m Freestyle Adam Brown powered his way to the final in 22.40. Simon Burnett (22.63) progressed in second while Owen Morgan (22.69) clocked a new Welsh record to qualify in third.

Gemma Spofforth (2:14.23) and Lizzie Simmonds (2:14.05) were back in action in the 200m Backstroke progressing to tomorrow's final behind fastest qualifier Stephanie Proud (2:11.26).

Finally, Rachael Kelly (27.43) was the fastest qualifier in the women’s 50m Butterfly ahead of tomorrow’s final.

For full results and start lists from the British Gas Swimming Championships, click here.

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