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Tancock seals gold with world record swim

2 August 2009

Liam Tancock was crowned world champion after lowering his world record for the second time in the 50m Backstroke as he helped to guide the British Gas swimming team to an impressive sixth place in the medal table.

Tancock, who won bronze in the 50m Backstroke in 2007, went into the final as the fastest athlete after breaking the world record last night. He took the record to 24.08 as he impressed on his way to winning his semi-final.

"I have three bronze medals from the past two Championships but tonight it is the gold, finally, and I am chuffed," - Liam TancockThe Olympic finalist had an explosive start in the final and powered through the pool to take the gold medal in a new world record time of 24.04.

“That felt like an almost perfect swim, nothing is perfect but nothing is ever perfect,” Tancock said. “There were things I wanted to improve on after the semi-final and I used these tonight.

“I am thrilled to be World Champion. I have three bronze medals from the past two Championships but tonight it is the gold, finally, and I am chuffed.

“The previous two Champions were in that race and I beat them to the top step.”

The silver went to Japan Junya Koga in a time of 24.24 and the bronze medal was won by Gerhard Zandberg in 24.34.

The final of the women’s 400m Individual Medley saw Hannah Miley compete in her second World Championship final and she swam a strong race as she finished just outside of the medals.

Miley, who finished in sixth place in the Olympic 400m Individual Medley final, got a good start and was turning in sixth place as she finished her Backstroke leg. The Olympic finalist pulled herself up to third after her strong breaststroke leg.

She touched home in fourth place in a time of 4:32.72 just 0.50 seconds away from bronze.

“It felt so much better than last year at the Olympics,” Miley said. “All my nerves disappeared and I just felt so in control.

“I am pleased with how I swam although fourth is no place to finish. It was off my best and that would have given me a medal but I have proved I can fight it out at the highest level.”

The gold medal went to Katinka Hosszu (Hungary) in a new Championship record time of 4:30.31. Kirsty Coventry (Zimbabwe) won silver in 4:32.12 and bronze was won by Stephanie Rice (Australia) in 4:32.29.

Fran Halsall lowered her British record in the women’s 50m Freestyle as she impressed on her way to finishing fifth in the final.

She had a strong start and looked powerful through the water as she pushed to get a good time in her final event of the World Championships.

She touched home in the new British record time of 24.11 behind medallists Britta Steffen and Therese Alshammar, Cate Campbell and Magdalena Veldhuis.

“That was a fantastic swim,” Halsall said. “I felt no pressure and I am thrilled with that time. To be honest I can’t believe 24.11 wasn’t enough to get a medal but those times were amazingly fast from some very big powerful girls.

“It has been a fun and successful week for me and the team and I am proud to be part of that.”

Germany’s Steffen finished in a new world record time of 23.73 and Alshammar (Sweden) touched in 23.88. Campbell (Australia) and Veldhuis (Netherlands) finished in joint third place in a time of 23.99.

David Davies finished in sixth place overall in a tough 1500m Freestyle final as he swam well in his third consecutive World Championship final.

Davies, who won the bronze at the last World Championships, has been working through training on his strength and he showed an improved performance in his final than in yesterday’s heat.

He qualified in seventh place and knew he had a fight on his hands from Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli and Olympic bronze medallist Ryan Cochrane.

Davies had a good start and was looking in a strong position after the first 800m but Cochrane and Mellouli began to pull away from the pack and Davies fought but couldn’t keep up with the leaders.

Davies touched in sixth place in a time of 14:57.03.

“I knew it was going to be tough but I just felt tired off the back of a hectic programme this week,” Davies said. “I did everything right in terms of resting ahead of the final but at 700m I just felt like I had nothing left.

“I have set myself challenges this year and I am achieving those and have done all week. I have improved my speed and strength but it has had an impact early on in my 2012 plan in my 1500m event. I don’t have the same endurance background that I usually have but I knew that was the possibility this summer.

“What I need to do is to couple my speed and strength with my normal distance training and I’ll be back up there.”

The gold medal was won by Mellouli (Tunisia) in a time of 14:37.28 with the silver going to Cochrane (Canada) in 14:41.38. The bronze medal was taken by China’s Yang Sun in 14:46.84.

Thomas Haffield, who was making his World Championship debut, impressed in his heat this morning as he reached the final with a new British record time.

In the final Haffield came up against tough competition from Olympic silver medallist Laszlo Cseh and Olympic bronze medallist Ryan Lochte and touched home in 4:13.63 to finish joint seventh.

The men’s 4x100m Medley Relay found themselves disqualified after a false start in the final event of the evening.

The breakdown of medals for the British Gas Swimming team is as follows:


  • Gemma Spofforth (100m Backstroke)
  • Liam Tancock (50m Backstroke)
  • Keri-Anne Payne (10km Open Water)


  • Jo Jackson (400m and 800m Freestyle)
  • Fran Halsall (100m Freestyle)


  • Rebecca Adlington (400m Freestyle)
  • 4x200m Freestyle Relay
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