SHEFFIELD, England, July 28. DAVID Carry broke one of the longest standing British Records on the first day of competition at the ASA Swim 21 National Youth Championships and ASA National Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
The 25-year-old Loughborough University member swam to glory in the men's 400 freestyle final, and in turn achieved a British best time of 3:47.40. Paul Palmer's previous best of 3:48.02 had stood since January 1998 and Carry was delighted to have finally bettered it.
"I have been aiming for this for a few years now and it's more of a relief than anything that I finally have the record," Carry said. "I've been working hard with my coach Ian Turner, who incidentally coached Paul Palmer who is someone I have looked up to and respected for a long time. I found the heats hard going this morning but felt good this evening and was aware of the fast splits. I just kept building and building over the course of the race and am really happy to get the record."
Carry's coach Turner was also pleased.
"This record has been on the cards for David for about 12 months. It's really great for him to finally achieve it and I do believe that he can go even faster," Turner said. "Like David, I was concerned with the heats this morning, but he really pulled it together for the finals. Obviously Paul's record has stood since 1998 and it was Paul's time that got him the World Championship bronze medal. I find it very interesting that one of my current athletes has broken the record of one of my previous athletes."
Dean Milwain of Loughborough University took silver in 3:50.55, ahead of Loughborough team-mate Ross Davenport who won bronze in 3:51.63.
Hannah Miley of Garioch also enjoyed a successful day taking two titles, the first in the women's 16/17 years 200 backstroke, the second in the women's open 400 IM.
Miley dominated the IM and finished close to her British Record in a time of 4:40.58. Keri-anne Payne took silver in 4:44.69 with bronze going to Jessica Dickons from Borough of Stockton in 4:49.43.
Miley's reaction was also one of shock.
"It was unexpected to go so close to my PB and I feel there is more to come," Miley said. "I'm off to the US tomorrow for the US Nationals with my first race being on Tuesday, the 200 butterfly. My main focus will be the 400 IM on Wednesday. I've had a really good couple of months following my success at the British Championships in March. That was a big stepping stone for me and it's clear that the training schedule that my coach and I have put together is going well."
Ellen Gandy took the first title on the first day of competition at the ASA Swim 21 National Youth Championships.
The 15-year-old from Beckenham grabbed glory in the women's 14/15 yrs 100 freestyle, finishing strongly in a time of 57.23. Home favorite Rebecca Turner from City of Sheffield was second in 57.81 with Fiona Doyle of Ireland finishing third in 58.18.
Speaking after the race Gandy seemed a little shocked by the result.
"That was an unexpected surprise; I really didn't expect to win," Gandy said. "Coming to the Nationals straight off the back of the European Junior Championships has been very tough. I had a bad swim this morning in the heats but I made up for that in the final where I was feeling really good. I am still in shock, I really didn't expect to win a Freestyle final, especially as Butterfly is my usual stroke."
In the men's multi-disability (MD) 400 freestyle, it was a record breaking day for Sam Hynd of Nova Centurion. Not content with breaking the British Record for the S8 category in the heats in a time of 4:37.18, he went onto smash the European Record in the final. Hynd's new time of 4:34.15 earned him 991 points.
Andrew Lindsay of Incas (S7) won silver in 5:13.43 (823 points) with Robert Welbourn of Lincoln Vulcans (S10) taking bronze in 4:20.83 (821 points).
Hynd's time for this event is now less than a second away from that of world record holder Xiaofu Wang of China (4:33.37) and there was no hiding Hynd's delight at this mark.
"I've come pretty close to the European record in recent months," Hynd said. "But finally getting it has still come as a surprise to me. During the race I did what my coach has been telling me to do, and I went out hard and remained focused throughout. I was feeling pretty good before the race and I felt good once I was in the water."
Louise Watkin of Kelly College also broke the British Record for the S9 category in the women's MD 400 freestyle final. Watkin touched home in 5:03.26 to earn 659 points and a bronze medal. The title itself went to Rhiannon Henry (S13) of Swansea Performance Centre who finished in 4:48.28 (893 points) with silver going to Emma Cattle (S10) of Luton who finished in 5:19.71 (679 points).
Watkin's performance is perhaps all the more impressive considering she has been competing at this event for less than a year.
Special thanks to British Swimming for contributing this report.