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Relay gold for British men at US Open

10th August 2012

There was more success for the British Gas GBR Swimming Team on Day Three of the 2012 US Open in Indianapolis as the men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay quartet clinched an impressive gold in the final event of the evening.

The British Gas Men’s Team, comprising of Lewis Coleman (1:50.95); Alfie Howes (1:51.47); Dan Wallace (1:50.32 - Relay PB) and Matthew Johnson (1:51.02 - Relay PB) were lying in second place behind Australia for most of the Championship Final, but were always in contention.

The final 50m was a neck-and-neck tussle between Australia and Great Britain and, cheered on by the British swimmers, 17 year-old Johnson out-touched his Australian rival by 0.26 to clinch the gold.

Earlier in the evening, Johnson, coached by Russ Barber, the British Gas Head Coach for the 2012 US Nationals, was agonisingly close to an individual podium place in the Championship Final of the 400m IM.

The European Junior Champion, and fifth place finisher at the 2011 World Junior Championships fought the way with a gutsy performance, and his 28.37 final 50m brought him home fourth in 4:18.93, more than 1.5 seconds faster than his morning heat swim.

The Women’s GB quartet of Lauren Quigley (2:04.38); Sophie Smith (2:02.59); Karley Mann (2:04.47 - Relay PB) and Lucy Spencer (2:02.54 - Relay PB) fought hard and were in medal-contention throughout their 4x200 Free Relay final.

The Team improved their pre-meet entry time by three seconds to finish fourth overall in 8:13.98, 1.3 seconds adrift of the Bronze.                            

The women's Consolation Final of the 400m IM included four British swimmers - Hillingdon’s Karley Mann; Anne Bochman, representing British Gas ITC Bath, but travelling with the British Gas National Squad; Lucy Spencer (Co Sheffield); and Elena Sheridan (Romford Town).

Mann led from the backstroke leg and touched home in first place in 4:49.52, her third fastest time ever, and an improvement of two seconds from her heat swim.

Bochmann led after the fly and maintained her overall ranking with a second place finish in 4:51.68, more than 1.5 seconds quicker than her morning performance. Sheridan battled throughout and improved her ranking with a fourth place finish in 4:52.08, more than 2.5 seconds faster than her heat time.

Spencer moved up the rankings after touching in fifth place in 4:52.24, an improvement of more than two seconds from her heat swim.

Dan Wallace (Warrender Baths and Florida Gators), the 2011 European Junior bronze medallist, took control of the Consolation Final of the 400m IM from the half-way mark, with a strong breaststroke and freestyle leg, to claim a gutsy win in 4:20.13, the second fastest time of his career and some seven seconds faster than his morning heat swim.

The 19-year old demolished the field over the final 100m, where he split 59.9 to come home in under 60 seconds for the first time.

Loughborough student, Tom Laxton, representing Swim Wales, took out the Consolation Final of the 100m Fly in a strong 25.18, powering to victory to maintain his ranking in 54.05, a mere 0.4 seconds outside his lifetime best.

Having won bronze on the opening day in the 200m Fly, Iain Macmillan, representing British Gas ITC Stockport but travelling with the British Gas National Squad, recorded exactly the same time in the Consolation Final as he did in the morning heats (55.02) to take sixth place.

Great Britain had two swimmers in the 100m Fly Bonus Final. British Gas ITC Stirling’s Cameron Brodie (19) and 22 year-old Jack Marriott (British Gas ITC Loughborough) raced hard.

Marriott, in his first British International selection, led at the 50m in 24.90 and held on for victory in 54.88, half a second faster than his heat time. Brodie turned in fifth (25.93), and maintained his position to the wall in 55.31, a mere 0.09 seconds slower than his heat time.

Xavier Mohammed from Co Cardiff, representing Swim Wales was in a class of his own in the Bonus Final of the 400m IM. A strong second half saw the 22-year old take victory in 4:23.16, almost eight seconds faster than he had recorded in his heat earlier that day.

Head Coach, Russ Barber said: “We have had another tremendous evening. The swimmers have moved up a gear, and have raced with grit and determination, not wanting to be beaten in any final.  We have once again seen our swimmers step up for the finals, and despite suffering from jet-lag, all have raced hard and tough. The team support this evening was outstanding.”

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