By Craig Lord
Swimming World’s European correspondent
Sheffield, England – A European and Commonwealth record were broken, and several very fast times posted at the British National Championships currently being held in Sheffield. The meet also serves as the Trials for the European Championships to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, later this month.
Sue Rolph blasted her own national and Commonwealth record in the 100m freestyle on Friday, clocking 55.05. The time ranks her third in the world this year behind Holland’s Inge DeBruijn (54.92) and Japan’s Suzu Chiba (54.99). Zoe Baker snapped the European record in the 50m breaststroke with her 31.52 in the heats. The old European mark was held by East Germany’s Silke Horner. Baker won the finals in 31.61.
James Hickman lowered his own national record in the 100m butterfly in the heats Saturday morning, when he swam 52.97, the fastest time in the world this year. Earlier he had won the 200 fly in a very fast 1:57.92.
Graham Smith eased to victory in the 1500m freestyle, his 15:11.41 the second fastest time in the world this year. Paul Palmer won the 200m freestyle in 1:49.14, the world’s seventh fastest swim in 1999, as three Brits dipped under the 1:50 mark.
Two foreign swimmers scored gold in the 400m IM. Israel’s Mickey Halika took the men’s race in 4:23.73, while South Africa’s Mandy Loots won the women’s in 4:48.97, a national and African record. Loots set another national and African mark in the 200m butterfly, where her 2:12.63 was good for the silver.