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Swimming - 02. April 2008.


Gemma Spofforth (Portsmouth) broke the British record with her strong swim in heat number six. Spofforth swam an impressive 50m and kept her lead throughout to touch in the new record time 59.89. photo University of Florida

"I have just come off the back of the NCAAs (US Collegiate Swimming) where things went very well for me so to keep it going in that direction here is amazing," Spofforth said. "I have been working very hard and I was really looking forward to coming back to Britain and doing something pretty special."

Portsmouth swimmer Katy Sexton also kept herself in contention of Olympic nomination by finishing her heat in a time of 1:01.61.

The final heat saw three women meet the vital qualifying time with Lincoln Vulcans swimmer Lizzie Simmonds finishing ahead of Fran Halsall (City of Liverpool) and Melanie Marshall (Loughborough University). Simmonds touched home in a time of 1:01.27, Marshall finished in a time of 1:01.44, Halsall finished in 1:01.57.

Rebecca Adlington (Nova Centurion) stole the show in the women's 400m Freestyle heats, swimming in heat four she showed her power and true potential with an impressive performance. She broke the British record after finishing in 4:04.91 and lowered her personal best time by five seconds and also met the qualification time for her event.

"I felt really good," Adlington said. "I have been swimming very well and to get a five second PB and the record is just amazing. It hasn't sunk in yet to get the Olympic time but I still have to get the top two spots in the final. My 400m usually follows the 800m, so normally I feel quite tired swimming this event but I felt fresh tonight and I am excited about the rest of the week."

The only other athlete to achieve the FINA 'A' time in the heats was Joanne Jackson (Derwentside) who finished her heat in 4:05.38.

Three athletes met the FINA 'A' qualifying time in the men's 100m Breaststroke, Chris Cook (City of Newcastle) was the first to meet the time finishing his heat in 1:00.54. James Gibson (Loughborough University) pulled out his best time since 2003 touching in 1:00.39. Kris Gilchrist was the final athlete to meet the vital time after finishing in 1:01.40.

Britain's disability athlete's continued to look strong in today's finals as they took their British record total up to seven with an impressive swim from Claire Warne (Flitwick) in the Women's 50m Backstroke in the S5 category to break the British record.

Overall Fran Williamson (Colchester Penguions) took the gold medal in the S3 category in 1:04.79 with a total of 861 points, silver went to Danielle Watts (City of Oxford), who swims in the S1 category, when she finished in 1:31.57 with 724 points, while Warne took the bronze with 482 points in a time of 52.08.

Earlier in the evening, the men's and women's 100m Breaststroke saw some promising performances from all athletes.

Liz Johnson (Swansea Performance) swam just inside her world record time and took the gold medal in the S6 category in the final in 1:41.20 to gain a total of 989 points. Nova Centurion swimmer Charlotte Henshaw took the silver medal in 1:42.88 with 941 points, also in the S6 category.

Bronze was claimed by Nyree Lewis (Leominster) finishing in 1:50.10 with a total of 824 points in the S5 category.
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