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Proud sets sights on Manchester hat-trick

27 June 2014

Ben Proud closed in on his golden hat-trick as he led 100m Freestyle qualifiers from the final heats session of the British Gas International Swimming Meet 2014 in Manchester.

The 19-year old, who has lifted the 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly titles in Manchester, qualified more than a second clear of the field as he won his heat in a personal best 49.41.

Jemma Lowe will chase her second gold of the meet after booking lane four for the 100m Butterfly final.

Having won 200m Fly gold earlier in the day, the Welsh record holder clocked 59.02 to progress with British champion Rachael Kelly the only other athlete ducking under a minute as she won her heat in 59.50.

Chris Walker-Hebborn will also aim for a golden double by adding the 50m Backstroke title to his 100m Back crown after qualifying fastest in 25.77.

World record holder Liam Tancock was second through after winning his heat in 26.23 while Charlie Boldison (26.24) and Marco Loughran (26.26) also qualified strongly.

There were just 0.03 seconds to choose between the top three qualifiers in the women’s 50m Breaststroke with Georgina Evans (33.02) leading the pack ahead of Rachael Wilson (33.03) and Laura Kinley (33.04).

In contrast, Camilla Hattersley had more than three seconds in hand as she led 400m Freestyle qualifiers, touching in 4:15.47 with Shauna Lee second fastest in 4:18.63.

British champion Lauren Quigley impressed to qualify fastest for the 200m Backstroke final in the last event of the session, clocking 2:11.33 to progress ahead of Charlotte Evans (2:14.23 PB) and Jess Fullalove (2:14.67).

Sheffield teammates Lewis Coleman and Max Litchfield will occupy the middle two lanes for the 200m Individual Medley final after progressing in 2:03.53 and 2:03.87 respectively with British champion Roberto Pavoni making the final in 2:05.96.

Bethany Firth (S14) was the star of the MC heats, clocking 2:08.11 in the 200m Freestyle  to progress with Paralympic S14 champion Jessica-Jane Applegate just behind on 2:10.20. Tom Hamer (S14) led the way in the men’s equivalent with his 2:03.57 effort.

Oliver Hynd (S8) was the top qualifier in the men’s MC 400m Free heats on 4:33.21 while Ellie Simmonds (S6) set 5:32.14 to lead the way in the women’s 400m Free.

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