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RECORDS FALL AT BRITISH GAS SWIMMING GRAND PRIX

06 Aug 2009

The first day of the British Gas Swimming Grand Prix (25m) saw Hannah Miley put in an excellent performance as she broke the European record in the women’s 200m Individual Medley.

The Garioch swimmer was challenged for her victory by Canada’s Julia Wilkinson and the two World Championship swimmers moved away from the field early on.

Miley lay in second place as she moved onto the Breaststroke leg and she showed her speed as she moved level with Wilkinson.

The final turn saw Miley move ahead of Wilkinson and she took the record down to 2:06.70 as she touched in first place. Miley lowered her own Commonwealth and British record and took Francesca Segat’s European record with her impressive swim.

“That was a really good swim,” Miley said. “It is hard off the back of Rome to keep at that high level but I am keeping it together.

“It is hard to do it without my dad and coach so I am really pleased.”

Wilkinson had to settle for silver in 2:07.01 and Canada’s Tanya Hunks won bronze in 2:10.29.

World silver medallist Fran Halsall (Loughborough Uni/Loughborough ITC) broke the British record in the women’s 100m Freestyle as she claimed victory over Canadian Victoria Poon.

Halsall dominated her heat as she looked to continue her form from the Rome World Championships and she didn’t disappoint in the final as she swam an excellent race and took the gold medal in a new British record time.

The long-course British record holder touched just outside of the world record in a time of 51.79 as she took the short-course British record and her first gold medal of the British Gas Swimming Grand Prix.

“I am a bit gutted to be honest as I had an eye on the world record,” Halsall said. “The past few days have been strange coming back from Rome but I am still on a big high after what I experienced.

“I wanted to continue in Leeds where I left off in Rome and that time was pretty good.”

The silver medal went to Poon (Canada) in a Canadian record time of 52.80 and the bronze was won by Genevieve Saumur in 53.14.

Audrey Lacroix just missed out on breaking the world record in the women’s 200m Butterfly after winning the gold medal in a new Commonwealth record time.

Canada’s Lacroix took the lead from the start and dominated the race as she put in a commanding performance.

She touched home in a time of 2:03.20 just 0.08 seconds outside of the world record.

World Championship finalist, Tanya Hunks, finished in second with a time of 2:06.25 and Kendra Chernoff (Canada) won bronze in 2:06.91.

The men’s 100m Butterfly saw Plymouth Leander’s Antony James break the British record with an impressive performance.

James took half a second off James Hickman’s previous national standard as he won the gold medal. James took the lead at the half way point and moved away from World Championship swimmer Ian Hulme (Ealing) through the next 25m.

James took the record at the wall as he touched in 50.42 which was almost a second faster than his qualification time.

“I just missed out on making the World Championship squad so it was important for me to swim well this summer and that swim confirms that,” James said.

“I swam well at Nationals last week and to follow it up with a swim that I am happy with. It is going really well in Plymouth and I got a great relationship with the coaches and it is moving me on.”

Hulme took the silver in a time of 51.27 and Canada’s Joe Bartoch won bronze in 51.45.

The women’s 100m Backstroke final saw the Commonwealth, Canadian and British records lowered after some strong performances.

Elizabeth Simmonds (Loughborough Uni/Loughborough ITC) and Katy Murdoch were battling it out for victory from the start and it was down to the final 25m for the race to be decided.

Simmonds and Murdoch were swimming stroke for stroke for much of the race but Murdoch touched just ahead of Simmonds as she lowered the Commonwealth and Canadian records to 57.03.

Simmonds took the British record and the silver medal after finishing in a time of 57.18 and Sinead Russell (Canada) won bronze in 58.95.

“That was much better that this morning,” Simmonds said. “It felt more controlled, my speed came easier but it is disappointing to have been caught at the end.

“It is faster than I have gone before so I am pleased with that. I enjoy short course swimming, it is completely different to the norm and with Backstroke you have to really think about how you’re going to swim the race and how to use your turns.”

World Championship swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn lowered the British record in the men’s 200m Backstroke final on his way to winning the silver medal.

Walker-Hebborn was fighting for the gold medal with Benjamin Stasiulis (Lagardere) and they were level at the half way point.

Stasiulis began to edge it from the Brit as the race entered its closing stages but Walker-Hebborn was swimming well within the British record.

The Lagardere swimmer took the gold medal after edging out Walker-Hebborn with a time of 1:49.89 and the Brit took silver in 1:50.73.

Canada’s Matthew Hawes won the bronze medal in 1:52.21.

Joe Roebuck (Loughborough Uni) dominated the final of the men’s 200m Individual Medley with an excellent performance as he took the gold medal.

Roebuck got off to an excellent start and took advantage of his strong turns through his Backstroke legs to move further into the lead ahead of Lewis Smith.

The World Championship swimmer had a good turn through to his Freestyle leg and maintained lead over Smith (Warrender) to take the title in a time of 1:54.90.

Smith claimed the silver after touching in 1:56.63 and Bogdan Knezevic won bronze in 1:57.40.

World Championship finalist Adam Brown won gold in the men’s 50m Freestyle as he took his first title of the British Gas Swimming Grand Prix.

The race saw five strong athletes battling it out for gold but it was the turn at the 25m mark that won it for Brown.

He managed to get some distance between himself and the field as he won the gold medal on the touch.

Hatfield’s Brown finished in a time of 21.46 with Canada’s Brent Hayden taking silver in 21.47 and the bronze medal was won by Ealing’s Charles Turner in 21.50

The final of the men’s 400m Freestyle saw Ross Davenport lower the English record and Ryan Cochrane break his own Canadian record.

Davenport (Loughborough Uni/Loughborough ITC) had an early lead over the race but Cochrane began to eat away at it at the half-way point of the race. World silver medallist, Cochrane, executed his turns excellently and moved ahead of Davenport with just 150m to go.

Cochrane took the gold medal with a time of 3:39.10 to take two seconds off his own national record. Davenport finished in 3:40.32 as he took the English record and his silver medal.

Canada’s Blake Worsley won bronze in 3:41.76.

The women’s 50m Breaststroke saw Plymouth Leander’s Achieng Ajulu-Bushell take victory as one of only two Brits that contested the final.

Ajulu-Bushell had an excellent start and took the gold in a time of 30.11. Canada’s Annamay Pierse won silver in 30.12 and the bronze went to Amanda Reason in 30.65.

-ENDS-

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

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