The second day of the British Gas Swimming Championships 2009 saw Britain’s top swimmers on good form as they lowered one European and four British record in front of a packed audience in Ponds Forge, Sheffield.
Hannah Miley looked full of promise for the women’s 200m Individual Medley after qualifying for the final just one second off the British record.
Garioch’s Miley started the final well and found herself in the lead after the first turn. At the 100m mark Miley was swimming within the European record time and looked set to lower Yana Klochkova’s (Ukraine) mark.
Olympic silver medallist Keri-Anne Payne (Stockport ITC) pushed Miley throughout the race but found that the pace over the final 50m was too much.
The Olympic finalist, Miley, touched in a new European record time of 2:09.59 to take the national title and secure her place on the World Championship team.
“It was a shock to go that fast,” Miley said. “My dad and I have been changing my programme to reduce the number of sessions but maintain the intensity in the pool to allow me the opportunity to rest.
“I have started university this year which is a big change because I was swimming full time last year and for the past year I have been living, breathing and eating swimming.”
Payne took the silver medal with a time of 2:13.41 and the bronze medal went to Sophie Allen in 2:14.05.
Beckenham’s Ellen Gandy started the record breaking evening with an excellent performance in the women’s 100m Butterfly final.
Gandy, who has been training in Australia, turned just ahead of her closest rival Fran Halsall (Loughborough ITC) but fought to extend her lead with an impressive final 50m.
The Olympian, Gandy, touched home in a new British record time of 57.49 almost a second ahead of Halsall who took the silver with a new personal best time of 58.11. Gandy has now sealed her place on the team for the Rome World Championships.
“I'm so happy with my training at the moment, my life and everything and it’s translated well into the pool,” Gandy said. “I'm delighted with that. It sets me up well for a good 200m fly later in the week.
“I've been working a lot on my back end speed and that came through. I tried to go out fast to keep with Fran and my late speed came through.”
The bronze medal went to Jessica Sylvester (Nova Centurion) with a time of 1:00.08.
Loughborough ITC’s Fran Halsall swam to her second personal best time of the night with an excellent swim in the women’s 50m Freestyle final.
Hallsall looked powerful throughout the final and touched home in a new British record time of
“I was fired up after my fly event earlier and just wanted to take that record,” Halsall said. “I wanted to finish on a high and have done that. I'm really pleased to take the record and book my place to Rome.
“I'm getting better all the time and my new coach Ben Titley has helped me a lot in terms of my starts.”
The final of the women’s 100m Backstroke saw Loughborough ITC’s Elizabeth Simmonds take the national title and her World Championship place with an excellent performance.
Simmonds touched home in a time of 1:01.10, just ahead of Swansea ITC’s Georgia Davies who took the silver in 1:01.25.
Bronze went to Rachel Lefley (Loughborough University) in 1:02.67.
Jo Jackson (Loughborough ITC) and Rebecca Adlington (Nova Centurion) found themselves in the same semi-final for the women’s 200m Freestyle and fought each other all the way for final places.
It was in the final 100m that Jackson put some space between her and Adlington and extended her lead in the final 50m. Jackson qualified as the fastest athlete with a time of 1:56.96 with her club-mate Caitlin McClatchey closely following behind her with a time of 1:58.49. Adlington is third fastest with a time of 1:59.13.