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Swimming - 10. April 2008.

MILEY CLAIMS WORLD SILVER

Britain's Hannah Miley became the second fastest woman in the world after claiming the silver medal in the final of the women's 400m Individual Medley on the first day of the World Swimming Championships (25m) in Manchester.

The 18-year-old swam an excellent race from the start positioning herself just behind Olympic medallist Kirsty Coventry.

Coventry was turning well inside world record time and Miley kept up with that pace throughout. After breaking the British record in this morning's heats Miley looked well on track to lower it once again with her impressive swim.

The Zimbabwe world medallist smashed the world record on her way to the gold medal after touching in a time of 4:26.52.

Miley, who also swam within the previous world standard time, broke the 26-year-old European record and after also taking two seconds off her personal best time claimed the silver medal in 4:27.27.

"I can't wipe the smile off my face," Miley said. "It is my first international medal and to better the previous record is fantastic. To be in that final with Kirsty and be a part of a new world record is an honour.

"It is never easy to know where you are in the medley but I was trying to get close to her and I am delighted with the performance."

The women's 4x100m Freestyle saw the British contingent claim their second silver medal of the event with a strong performance from the team in a world record breaking final.

Joanne Jackson began the race for Britain and gave the girls a good lead going into the second leg. Mel Marshall swam well to keep the girls in with a chance of a medal in the tough race.

The team were in third place going into the third leg but Caitlin McClatchey swam an excellent leg to put the athletes in a strong position ahead of Australia.

Rebecca Adlington swam an impressive final leg as she began closing in on the leaders, the Netherlands, as she entered the final 25m she looked to have claimed the victory for the home nation but just missed out on the gold by 0.06 seconds.

"We have moved that event on a lot," Jackson said. "That was a great race with the top three well under the world record. We gave it our best and are very proud."

"We are definitely stronger long course and we'll be looking to show that in Beijing," Marshall added.

"I tried so hard to catch the Dutch," Adlington said. "Everything was hurting but in the end it was just too much to claw back."

The Netherlands claimed the gold medal and broke the world record in a time of 7:38.90, while Britain took the silver in a time of 7:38.90, which was also within the previous record time.

The bronze went to Australia's team who finished in a time of 7:39.01.

British swimmer Jessica Dickons claimed the first medal of the day for the British team in the final of the women's 200m Butterfly.

Dickons had a disappointing start but fought back hard to over take club-mate Jemma Lowe to take the third place in the last 50m in this evening's final.

The gold medal went to America's Mary Descenza in 2:04.27, while silver went to Felicity Galvez (Australia) in a time of 2:04.90. Dickons touched in 2:05.09 to claim her bronze medal - her second senior international medal.

Dickons also smashed the British record that Lowe had set in this morning's heats.

"That felt much better," Dickons said. "I didn't swim to my best at the British Championships last week but that was great. It was a big competition for me and to get a medal is amazing. I hope it is the first of many and the record topped it all off."


This evening's semi-finals saw four swimmers produce excellent performances to make it through to tomorrow night's finals. The women's 50m Breaststroke saw Kate Haywood swim well to keep up with Australia's Jade Edminstone and swim a personal best time to make it into the final.

"That was another personal best in a very fast semi-final," Haywood said. "I am happy to be there tomorrow and I would love that British record."

The women's 100m Backstroke semi-final saw Elizabeth Simmonds swim better than the heat to finish in third place to qualify for the final tomorrow.

"I felt flat and cold this morning but that was much better. I had a target to just go faster and that is what I did out that which was great. The final will be better tomorrow I am sure of that.
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