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Medals in Marseille for Loughborough squad

4th March 2013

James Gibson’s National Sprint Programme group showed encouraging form as they warmed up for this week’s British Gas International Meet in Leeds.

Competing at the Mediterranean International in Marseille, Francesca Halsall scooped four golds and Liam Tancock added a fifth as the four-strong British squad returned with 10 medals.

Halsall’s golds came over 50m Freestyle (24.91), 100m Free (54.61), 50m Butterfly (26.91) and 100m Butterfly (58.37) while the 22-year old also set a personal best 28.93 for silver in the 50m Backstroke.

I wanted to see where we are in terms of our preparation and it’s about what I expected.

Tancock set a personal best 2:02.77 for 200m Backstroke gold as well as clinching silver in both the 50m Back (25.46) and 100m Back (55.19).

Amy Smith who won double bronze over 50m Free (25.72) and 50m Fly (27.73) and came fourth in the 100m Free (56.14) while Grant Turner finished fifth in the 100m Free (50.64) and clocked 22.98 for seventh in the 50m Free.

“Everything went pretty well this weekend,” admitted Gibson. “I wanted to see where we are in terms of our preparation and it’s about what I expected.

“There are always a couple you hope to go better so they’re the ones we hope to get right.

“It’s important to race the best swimmers in the world – the men’s 50m and 100m Free in Marseille had the Olympic champions competing which was the main reason for wanting to take the guys out there.

“But it was also about replicating the trials. There’s going to be a lot of racing around the trials and World Champs so I’ve taken the guys to BUCS and Marseille and then Leeds will be the end of the three-week cycle.”

This weekend's inaugural British Gas International Meet has also drawn a world class field with the Netherlands' Olympic 50m and 100m Freestyle champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Denmark's world 100m Freestyle champion Jeanette Ottesen Gray two of the foreign stars down to compete.

We’re really looking forward to the Dutch girls coming over and the American guys to race freestyle.

And Gibson insists racing regularly against the world's top competitors will have a positive impact on his swimmers, as well as the next generation of British athletes coming through.

“It’s an open meet and we want to swim fast,” said Gibson. “We’re really looking forward to the Dutch girls coming over and the American guys to race freestyle.

“It’s good to attract that level of athlete to a meet in this country and it would be great for our swimmers to have international athletes coming over every year.

“We’re not going to be peaking there – that won’t happen until the summer.

“But it will be good to see how the athletes have developed through the meets and it’s about information gathering.”

Live Video Streaming

You'll be able to watch Fran, Liam, Amy and Grant in action at the British Gas International Meet thanks to our free live video stream from Leeds.

Our feed will show nearly 2000 swims over the four-day meet and will provide in-depth analysis as well as replaying key moments so you do not miss a race. Click the button to find out more.

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