Mark Foster Wins Second Gold Medal at British Championships

SHEFFIELD, England, July 31. MARK Foster's return to the ASA National Championships has continued to prove successful as he claims his second title on the fifth day of competition.

The penultimate day also saw two World, two European and a British record smashed in the pool by MD athletes.

The final of the men's open 50 freestyle looked to be quite open with the world class field looking to claim the title.

Foster went out hard from the start to claim his second gold of the competition. He took the title in 22.36, almost a second ahead of Matthew Tutty – who won silver in 23.00 and bronze went to Slough Eton's Simon Burnett in 23.04.

"I'm impressed with that," Foster said. "I've swam a couple of events in Europe this year but didn't expect that kind of time. "I've not been doing much work so I haven't really rested for this event. I've been trying to keep in shape but that's the fastest I've swam in four years and is probably about my fifth fastest time in what has been a long career. I'm 37 and to swim that fast is pretty amazing.

David Carry took his second gold of the ASA National Championships (50m) 2007 in the men's open 200 freestyle.

The Double Commonwealth champion battled against World Championship team-mates including Ross Davenport and Simon Burnett and pushed for the lead in the final 50m.

The City of Aberdeen Swim Team swimmer extended his lead in the final 25m to take the gold medal in a time of 1:48.02, ahead of Simon Burnett – who took the silver medal in 1:48.85. And bronze went to Loughborough University swimmer Euan Dale in 1:49.55.

"It's always great to win especially against such a world class field," said Carry. "I was looking to go a bit quicker but tonight was about the victory. Becoming ASA Champion is something I used to dream of so it means a lot to me. I'm off to the US tomorrow and plan to swim faster there, I had hoped to do it tonight but it will have to wait now until later in the week."

The 17 – 18 year 200 backstroke saw Christopher Walker-Hebborn knock two seconds off his personal best time.

The Team Ipswich swimmer has been training at the Offshore Centre in Southport, Australia and has completed his hat-trick of gold medals at the ASA Swim 21 National Youth Championships.

Walker-Hebborn took the lead early on and looked in charge of the race throughout. He took gold in 2:02.69 which secured his PB and his new age group record.

Silver was claimed by Xavier Mohammed in 2:05.31 and bronze went to William Purnell in 2:05.42.

"It's been a hard couple of weeks but it seems that guys from the offshore centre are getting better," said Walker-Hebborn.

The squad of boys training at the Offshore center have seen much success in the ASA National Championships with most of them reaching finals and claiming personal best times – Christopher Fox was another Offshore center athlete that claimed a PB this evening in the 17 – 18 year 50m Freestyle who took gold in 23.40.

"The support of the other boys, coach Chris Nesbit and everyone in the crowd behind you is just so uplifting," Hebborn-Walker said. "There‘s so much team spirit and it drives you on. I couldn't have managed another PB without it. I just wanted to swim fast but the other guys were pushing and I went for it. It's nice to be back after spending so long in Australia. I've been working with my home coach Dave Champion again but I'll be leaving this week for Southport again."

Emma Bird secured the gold medal in the 16 – 17 year old 200m breaststroke with an impressive final 50m.

The Nova Centurion swimmer touched home in a time of 2:31.36 to take the victory from Charlotte Barnes – who took silver in 2:33.75. Bronze was claimed by Kate Hutchinson who finished in 2:35.32.

"I've never won gold before at a national championships so I was delighted with that," Bird said. "I swam very well in Glasgow at the Scottish Nationals a few weeks ago so I knew I was swimming fast but to get a Personal Best is a real bonus. I'll have a break now but hopefully I'll be back in action later in the year for Britain at the European Championships."

The multi-disability (MD) events saw two World, two European and a British record smashed in the pool today.

Danielle Watts claimed the first World record of the day in the women's MD 100 freestyle final. She touched in a time of 1:48.02 to claim a massive 1,021 points to secure gold and the new

"I felt really tired after a long week but I've wanted to better that record for a long time, to do it here is fantastic. I will be training hard now to make sure I'm at the Paralympic Games next year."

Silver was taken by Rhiannon Henry (S13, Swansea Performance) who finished in 1:02.63 and got 860 points. Bronze was claimed by Natalie Jones (S6, Colchester) in 1:24.28 to win 775 points.

Eccles Swimmer Heather Frederiksen secured the second World record in the S6 category in the MD 50m Butterfly. She finished in a time of 37.47 to win 1,094.

"I'm happy with that. I've been training hard and had that record in my sights coming into the week. It's been a hard few days, I've raced a lot and felt quite tired tonight but to get that record is just brilliant."

Rachael Latham (S8, Bolton Metro) finished in second place to take the silver in a time of 34.88. This time also meant she broke the European Record for the second time today, having previously taken it in the heats.

Bronze was claimed by Rhiannon Henry (S13, Swansea Performance) in 36.34 with 955 points.

Sam Hynd (S8, Nova Centurion) secured yet another British record this evening in the MD 100m Freestyle. He touched home in 1:03.70 to claim 838 points and the bronze medal.

Gold went to David Roberts (S7, Swansea Performance) with 936 points and silver was taken by Matthew Walker who took 907 points.

"That's another record for me and I'm delighted," said Hynd. "Training has been going very well and I just wanted to swim fast here. I knew certain records were within reach and it's great to get them."

Special thanks to British Swimming for contributing this report.

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